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Stocks Fall in Wobbly Trade            04/25 12:30

   U.S. stocks are wobbling and trading mostly lower Wednesday as investors 
continued to worry that growing costs for critical materials along with rising 
interest rates will affect profit growth for companies.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are wobbling and trading mostly lower Wednesday 
as investors continued to worry that growing costs for critical materials along 
with rising interest rates will affect profit growth for companies. U.S. bond 
yields are rising again and setting four-year highs while oil prices are at 
three-year highs. Stock indexes in Europe and Asia are also falling after U.S. 
indexes took a steep drop the day before.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index slipped 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,632 
as of 1:05 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 
201 points at the open but later recovered to trade down 45 points, or 0.2 
percent, at 23,978. The 30-stock index has fallen for five days in a row, its 
longest losing streak in more than a year. The Nasdaq composite declined 3 
points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,004. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company 
stocks dipped 3 point, or 0.2 percent, to 1,549.

   Almost two-thirds of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange were trading 
lower. Banks took some of the largest losses. Technology, health care and 
industrial companies also declined. Those stocks tend to do better in times of 
faster economic growth.

   PAYING THE COST: Stocks slumped Tuesday after heavy machinery maker 
Caterpillar said it doesn't expect to top its first-quarter earnings for the 
rest of this year. Company profits fuel the stock market, and when they are 
rising, stocks tend to do well. Investors expected strong profit growth this 
year thanks to the growing global economy and the corporate tax cut President 
Donald Trump signed at the end of 2017. That optimism helped send stocks to 
record highs in January.

   The comments from Caterpillar's executives, as well as from other major 
companies like 3M and Sherwin-Williams, had investors worrying about whether 
that growth will show up. On Wednesday Goodyear Tire & Rubber said higher raw 
materials costs and weaker demand hurt its business in the first quarter. Its 
stock fell 4.9 percent to $25.55.

   ON THE DEFENSIVE: Defense contractor General Dynamics shed 3.5 percent to 
$214.23 and Northrop Grumman slipped 2.1 percent to $334.35 as their 
first-quarter reports failed to excite investors. Lockheed Martin, which 
tumbled following its report Tuesday, fell another 2.3 percent to $328.88 and 
Raytheon declined 1.7 percent to $215.

   Citi Investment Research analyst Jonathan Raviv said Northrop Grumman and 
Lockheed Martin reported good results but didn't raise their forecasts for how 
much cash they will make. He said the companies were likely just being 
cautious, but investors were concerned.

   ON THE MOVE: Aerospace company Boeing topped Wall Street's estimates and 
raised its forecasts for the year. Boeing rose 2.5 percent to $337.21. Railroad 
operator Norfolk Southern also climbed 5.5 percent to $142.42 after it, too, 
surpassed analyst projections. That helped pull other industrial companies 

   BONDS: Investors may have also been worried about rising interest rates, 
which tend to slow down economic growth by making it more expensive for people 
and companies to borrow money. Bond prices fell again Wednesday, sending yields 
higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note kept setting four-year highs as 
it rose to 3.02 percent from 3 percent.

   Low interest rates have played an important role in the economic recovery of 
the last decade, and the yield on the 10-year note is a benchmark for many 
kinds of interest rates including mortgages. It's been climbing because 
investors expect higher economic growth and inflation. While investors expect 
the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates two more times this year, growing 
numbers of them now expect it to raise rates a third time after that.

   SKY TUSSLE: Media conglomerate Comcast offered to buy British broadcaster 
Sky for $30 billion. Sky had previously accepted a $16.5 billion offer from 
21st Century Fox, but British regulators haven't approved the deal. They are 
investigating whether Fox's bid for Sky would give Murdoch and his family, 
which owns several other media titles in the U.K., too much control over the 
country's news media.

   Comcast also had a stronger first quarter than analysts expected, although 
it continued to lose cable subscribers. Its stock jumped 2.9 percent to $34.33. 
Sky gained 3.9 percent in London. Fox rose 2.2 percent, to $36.80, while 
Disney, which plans to buy most of Fox's entertainment assets, climbed 1.9 
percent to $101.36.

   OVERSEAS: Germany's DAX fell 1.3 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 lost 0.9 
percent. France's CAC 40 was down 0.7 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 
shed 0.3 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.1 percent and the South Korean 
Kospi lost 0.6 percent.

   CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.26 yen from 108.67 yen. The euro fell to 
$1.2188 from $1.2237.

   COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 12 cents to $67.58 in New York. 
It's up 32 percent over the last 12 months and trading at its highest price in 
more than three years. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 37 
cents to $73.4 a barrel in London.

   Gold fell 0.7 percent to $1,323.70 an ounce and silver sank 1.1 percent to 
$16.52 an ounce.


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