NEW YORK – U.S. stock indexes edged lower in early trading Tuesday as investors await earnings from the few companies yet to announce results and a jobs report later this week. The Nasdaq fell below 5,000 a day after passing that milestone for the first time since the dot-com era 15 years ago.
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KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 72 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,216 as of 10:03 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 10 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,107. The Nasdaq composite dropped 26 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,981.
DIVIDEND HIKE: Best Buy gained 69 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $39.32 after the electronics retailer said it would raise its dividend 21 percent and give shareholders an additional one-time payment.
EARNINGS MISS: Offshore drilling company Nabors Industries sank 15 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $12.39 after reporting earnings and revenue that fell well short of what analysts had expected.
NASDAQ MILESTONE: The drop in the Nasdaq follows a 0.9 percent gain on Monday that put it just 40 points from its 5,048.62 peak reached March 10, 2000. The index has changed significantly since then. Gone is the heavy weighting of telecommunications stocks and big bets on Internet companies with little or no earnings.
EUROPEAN MARKETS: France's CAC 40 fell 0.4 percent and Germany's DAX slipped 0.5 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 edged down 0.5 percent.
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CHINA MEETING: Investors were keeping an eye on China, whose ceremonial legislature starts its annual session on Thursday and is expected to announce a target for economic growth in 2015. Last year's target was 7.5 percent, which China narrowly missed, posting 7.4 percent, the slowest in 24 years. There are expectations the target will be lowered to 7 percent this year as China manages a multiyear shift in its economy away from industrial led growth to consumers and services.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 inched down 0.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.7 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.4 percent. Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 27 cents to $49.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 17 cents to close at $49.59 a barrel on Monday.
CURRENCIES, BONDS: The dollar was trading at 119.45 yen, down from its previous close of 120.14 yen. The euro rose to $1.1197 from $1.1183. Bond prices didn't move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.08 percent.
Kageyama reported from Tokyo.