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US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower, led by tech and financial stocks
August 21, 2017 / 3:31 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower, led by tech and financial stocks

* Nike’s drop after rating cut weighs on Dow

* Herbalife jumps as board announces stock buyback

* Indexes lower: Dow 0.10 pct, S&P 0.07 pct, Nasdaq 0.39 pct

* All three indexes below their 50-day moving avg (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Aug 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street edged lower in late morning trading on Monday, led by technology and financial stocks, with caution prevailing amid concerns over the recent turmoil in the White House and simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Last week, President Donald Trump fired chief strategist Steve Bannon and disbanded some business councils, among other political maneuvers, that led to investor concerns about the Trump administration’s ability to implement its pro-growth agenda.

While the benchmark S&P 500 index is still up about 13.5 percent since the election, it had fallen 2.1 percent in the last two weeks. That’s the most since the fortnight before the election.

Part of the recent decline was due to escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea. While that has eased slightly in the past few days, South Korean and U.S. forces began computer-simulated military exercises on Monday.

“I think (the market’s decline) is a continuation of the weakness we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

“We have come off a really strong period for the market and are really just digesting the gains.”

At 11:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.4 points, or 0.1 percent, at 21,652.11 and the S&P 500 was down 1.79 points, or 0.07 percent, at 2,423.76.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 24.30 points, or 0.39 percent, at 6,192.23.

The Dow’s drop pulled it below its 50-day moving average, meaning that all three indexes were trading below the key technical measure on the same day for the first time since April 18.

Three of the 11 S&P sectors were lower, led by the technology index’s 0.63 percent decline and financial’s 0.53 percent drop.

Defensive sectors such as real estate and telecommunications were the top gainers.

Apple’s 0.6 percent drop weighed the most on the S&P and the Nasdaq, while Nike’s 2.62 percent slide dragged the most on the Dow. Jefferies cut its rating and price target on Nike.

Oil prices fell sharply as a rally at the end of last week prompted investors to close positions at a higher price.

Herbalife was up 10.88 percent after the nutritional supplement maker said it would buy back $600 million of shares after ending talks to be taken private.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,448 to 1,260. On the Nasdaq, 1,736 issues fell and 947 advanced. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)

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