S&P 500 slips with Apple, lingering fears on global growth

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 Index ended a choppy session slightly lower on Monday as worries about a slowdown in global economic growth lingered and as Apple Inc shares fell after the company unveiled its video streaming service.

Indexes moved between negative and positive territory throughout the session, with investors keeping their eyes on the U.S. Treasury market.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest levels since December 2017, while the yield curve between three-month bills and 10-year notes inverted further as investors continued to assess last week’s dovish pivot by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed flagged an expected slowdown in the economy last week and decided against raising interest rates this year.

The yield curve inversion, if it holds, is seen by some as an indicator that a recession is likely in one to two years. Ten-year notes were last yielding about 2.4 percent.

The S&P 500 financial index ended down 0.4 percent, falling for a fifth straight day, its longest losing streak this year.

“We went from people worried about a 4 percent (yield on the) 10-year and inflation, and now everyone is worried about a recession and rates going lower. So that’s affecting the tone,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer, North Star Investment Management Corp, Chicago.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Dow ended higher, helped by a 2.3 percent gain in Boeing Co after the planemaker said it would brief pilots and regulators this week on software and training updates for its 737 MAX aircraft, with Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways expressing confidence in the company despite a recent fatal crash.

Apple shares fell 1.2 percent and were the biggest drag on indexes. The iPhone maker unveiled its long-awaited Apple TV+ original content streaming service and Apple TV Channels subscription service, joining a crowded market for streaming options.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14.51 points, or 0.06 percent, to 25,516.83, the S&P 500 lost 2.35 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,798.36 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.13 points, or 0.07 percent, to 7,637.54.

Investors largely shrugged off Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report that President Donald Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russia.

The report left unresolved the issue of whether Trump obstructed justice by undermining the investigations that have dogged his presidency.

Top U.S. officials travel to Beijing for the latest round of high-level talks, which are scheduled to start on March 28.

In a bright spot, the consumer discretionary sector rose 0.6 percent, supported by gains in Home Depot Inc and Inc.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by a 1.03-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, a 1.10-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted nine new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 25 new highs and 101 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.96 billion shares, compared with the 7.69 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Matthew Lewis