Worries about Comey, Qatar and more help to 'curb risk appetite'
U.S. stock-market indexes edged lower on Tuesday, as investors turned cautious in the wake of geopolitical headlines dominating this week.
Analysts said investors are in a risk-off mode as they wait for the outcome of the U.K. general election, a policy meeting of the European Central Bank and former Federal Bureau of Investigation boss James Comey's testimony to a Senate panel on Thursday.
The S&P 500 was off by 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,429, with nine of the 11 main sectors trading lower. Financials were leading the losses, driven lower by a continued slump in Treasury yields. The sector was down 0.8% in early trade.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 47 points, or 0.3%, to 21,120, with 23 of the 30 components trading negative territory. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.(WMT) and Caterpillar Inc.(CAT) were the top decliners, down about 1%.
Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index was off by 13 points, or 0.2%, to 6,281.
"We expect sideways markets over the short-term due to seasonality -- summer months tend to be quieter--and investors continue to react to headline news," said Lisa Kopp, head of Traditional Investment Group at US Bank Wealth Management.
Kopp still expect the S&P 500 to finish the year higher, supported by fundamentals.
Geopolitical concerns are "helping to drive safe haven flows and curb risk appetite," said Richard Perry, a Hantec Markets analyst, in a note.
Gold futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-rises-looks-to-settle-at-7-week-high-2017-06-06), the Japanese yen (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-falls-against-yen-as-analysts-see-flight-to-safety-due-to-geopolitical-fears-2017-06-06) and Treasurys , deemed as safety plays were finding buyers, thanks in part to concerns about a spat between Qatar (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/saudi-arabia-bahrain-uae-sever-diplomatic-relations-with-qatar-2017-06-04) and other Middle Eastern nations.
Read: What you need to know about Saudi Arabia's break with Qatar (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-saudi-arabias-spat-with-qatar-2017-06-05)
Other markets: Oil futures edged lower, and European markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-set-for-1-week-low-as-caution-sets-in-2017-06-06) also lost ground. Asian equities finished mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-slip-as-investors-turn-cautious-2017-06-05), and a key dollar index was slightly lower after earlier showing a bigger loss and touching levels last seen in November (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-falls-against-yen-as-analysts-see-flight-to-safety-due-to-geopolitical-fears-2017-06-06).
Economic news: An April figure for job openings is slated to arrive at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.
Individual movers: Shares in Apple Inc.(AAPL) were trading slightly higher, putting the gadgets giant on track to recover somewhat from Monday's 1% drop.
That fall came after Apple unveiled its HomePod smart speaker and other new offerings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-bets-that-youll-adopt-these-3-tech-habits-2017-06-05), and as Pacific Crest analysts downgraded the stock (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-downgraded-as-analysts-say-investors-dazzled-by-iphone-8-arent-pricing-in-enough-risk-2017-06-05), saying all of the upside from the next iPhone is already priced in.
Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN) is dropping the price for its Prime membership for low-income shoppers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-cuts-prime-fee-for-low-income-shoppers-as-it-takes-on-wal-mart-2017-06-06). The move is seen as taking aim at Wal-Mart(WMT), which counts on shoppers who receive government assistance for a large percentage of its sales. Shares in Amazon edged lower in thin premarket trading. Wal-Mart shares were down more than 1%.
Media giant 21st Century Fox Inc.(FOX) (FOX) is getting into the mobile videogame business, paying tens of millions of dollars for game studio Aftershock, a Wall Street Journal report said (https://www.wsj.com/articles/fox-buys-mobile-game-maker-aftershock-1496742304).
Struggling Toshiba Corp.(6502.TO) (6502.TO) has granted preferential negotiating rights for its semiconductor unit to U.S. chip maker Broadcom Ltd.(AVGO), said a report from The Asahi Shimbun (http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201706060045.html), a Japanese newspaper.
Michaels Cos.(MIK) reported earnings below Wall Street's expectations and downgraded its full-year outlook. Shares dropped 8%.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 06, 2017 09:51 ET (13:51 GMT)