U.S. stocks fought their way to a mixed finish Tuesday as drugmakers rallied, which mostly canceled out losses for industrial companies. Investors shifted their money to less risky investments for the second day in a row.
For the second straight day, stocks started with substantial losses. Industrial companies, which have climbed lately, fell the most as UPS tumbled after a weak fourth-quarter report. Banks also slipped. But investors bought safe-play assets like gold, government bonds, and high dividend payers. Drug companies also rallied after President Donald Trump met with industry executives and discussed ideas including faster drug approvals and lower taxes.
Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for Wells Capital Management, said investors are looking for safer investments because the change from Barack Obama’s administration to Donald Trump’s has created so many changes in government.
“More than anything right now, it’s just the pace of news,” he said. “It is so dramatic.”
The stock market made huge gains after Trump was elected last fall, and Paulsen said it’s not a surprise that investors would sell some of their holdings, take some profits, and move to lower-risk investments at some point.
The Dow Jones industrial average sank 107.04 points, or 0.5 percent, to 19,864.09 as companies like Goldman Sachs and Boeing returned some of their recent gains.
The S&P 500 lost 2.03 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,278.87. It fell as much as 13 points early on. The S&P 500 has fallen for four days in a row. While that is its longest losing streak since before the presidential election, the losses have been small.
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