NEW YORK, NY. (NEWS 1130) – US stocks fell Monday morning, following global stock indexes lower, as energy and technology companies take sharp losses. Airlines skidded after President Donald Trump ordered impose a travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, which lead to protests and disruption at airports. Banks and basic materials companies also fell, and energy companies declined with oil prices.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 141 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 19,952 as of 10:18 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 19 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 2,275. The Nasdaq composite dropped 70 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 5,590 after closing at an all-time high Friday.
TRUMP TRAVEL TROUBLE: Late Friday Trump signed an executive order that suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and blocked travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven countries. The move, which is being challenged in court, triggered protests and confusion at U.S. airports, and airline stocks traded lower. American Airlines fell $2.31, or 4.9 per cent, to $44.65. United Continental lost $2.78, or 3.7 per cent, to $71.64 and Delta gave up $1.67, or 3.4 per cent, to $48.03.
GET THE IODINE: Rite Aid stock plunged after Walgreens said it will cut the price it’s paying to buy its rival to no more than $7 per share from $9. That came after the companies said they will sell more of Rite Aid’s stores to get antitrust regulators to approve the deal. Walgreens said it may have to sell up to 1,200 Rite Aid stores, about a quarter of the company’s total. Rite Aid sank $1.12, or 16.2 per cent, to $5.81. Walgreens edged up 8 cents to $81.58.
OFF THE PACE: Fitness tracker maker Fitbit dropped 93 cents, or 12.9 per cent, to $6.28 after the company posted weak fourth-quarter sales and said it will eliminate about six per cent of its jobs, or about 110 positions.
TOSSING AND TURNING: Mattress retailer Tempur Sealy said Mattress Firm is moving to terminate its supply contracts with the company. Tempur Sealy said Mattress Firm wanted to make big changes to supply agreements and the two sides weren’t able to reach an agreement. It expects the two companies to stop during business during the first quarter. Tempur Sealy said it made 21 per cent of its net sales last year to Mattress Firm. Its stock fell $17.68, or 28 per cent, to $45.51.
TECH TURMOIL: The travel ban also created broader uncertainty for companies and industries that rely on visa programs to hire workers, as well as some companies that do a lot of business overseas because of potential difficulties in global trade. IT consulting and outsourcing firm Cognizant Technolgoy Solutions sank $1.88, or 3.3 per cent, to $54.25 and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, skidded $17.61, or 2.1 per cent, to $827.42. Chip equipment maker Lam Research was off $3.04, or 2.6 per cent, to $115.20
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 52 cents to $52.75 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, gave up 45 cents to $55.75 a barrel in London. Chevron retreated $1.44, or 1.3 per cent, to $112.35 and ConocoPhillips fell $1.40, or 2.8 per cent, to $48.04.
BONDS: Bond prices held steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 2.48 per cent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 114.34 yen from 115.09 yen. The euro fell to $1.0654 from $1.0698.
OVERSEAS: The DAX of Germany fell 1.2 per cent and the French CAC-40 also shed 1.2 per cent while Britain’s FTSE 100 was 1 per cent lower. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 per cent.