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Tech, health care lead U.S. stocks lower

13 January 2018

Asian stock markets were lower on Thursday after Wall Street posted its first loss this year.

At 11:08 a.m. ET (1608 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 194.76 points, or 0.76 percent, at 25,769.49 and the S&P 500 was up 13.89 points, or 0.50 percent, at 2,781.45.

Telecom stocks and utility stocks in the S&P 500 each fell 0.9 percent, tied for the worst performance in the index.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 39.36 points, or 0.55 percent, at 7,251.14.

Another data showed USA consumer prices recorded their biggest rise in 11 months in December on gains in the cost of rental accommodations and healthcare, bolstering expectations that inflation will accelerate this year. The euro rose to $1.2036 from $1.1957, and the British pound rose to $1.3536 from $1.3509.

Bond prices fell. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.58 percent. The last time the index led off a year with more consecutive gains was in 2010, when it had six.

US equities broke key milestones the first trading week of 2018, as the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed above 25,000, 2,700 and 7,000, respectively, for the first time ever. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.54 percent after climbing as high as 2.59 percent in the morning.

While a quick jump in rates could easily jolt markets out of the calm ride they've been on, investors say markets are prepared for a gradual rise. The worry is that a surprise spike in inflation would force central banks to move more quickly on rates than investors expect and upset markets.

FOLLOWING THE MOMENTUM: Stocks have been steadily rising for more than a year as investors bask in an economy where countries around the world are finally all growing in sync.

He is optimistic that stocks can continue to rise from their record levels because of these trends, even though the market is more expensive than it usually is relative to corporate profits.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks finished lower on Wednesday.

"We're getting a bit exhausted hearing ourselves talking about the solid economic backdrop and strong earnings growth, but that is the backdrop", said Jon Adams, senior investment strategist for BMO Global Asset Management. "We try not to be greedy about it". The next test for the market may arrive in coming weeks as companies report how much profit they made in the last three months of 2017.

Wells Fargo fell 0.8 percent after it set aside $3.25 billion in the fourth quarter to cover legal expenses related to probes into its mortgage and sales practices.

On the losing end for stocks was GoPro, which plunged 12.8% to $6.56 after it said its revenue fell sharply last quarter.

Sales at online retailers soared 1.2 percent in December. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.1 percent.

France's CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent, the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.2 percent and Germany's DAX climbed 0.3 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.73 Japanese yen from 111.43 yen.

In the commodities markets, benchmark US crude rose 50 cents to settle at $64.30 per barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, gained 6 cents to $69.26 per barrel.

Micron Technology fell 2.3 percent and UnitedHealth Group lost 1 percent.

Tech, health care lead U.S. stocks lower