Stock indexes slip in early trading after 3 gains in a row

Posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2019 By Damian J. Troise, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks were edging lower in early trading on Wall Street Thursday as the market settles down after three days of gains.

Communications stocks led the decliners as Facebook fell 2.6 percent amid reports of a criminal investigation into its data-sharing practices.

The losses were offset partly by gains in banks and technology stocks. JPMorgan Chase and Apple rose.

The market had been rallying throughout the week and reclaiming some of the momentum it had in January and February. Investors have been weighing a mixed bag of economic data while keeping a close watch on global trade issues. The markets have mostly brushed off the chaos surrounding Britain's exit the European Union, its key trading bloc.

Boeing started to level off after falling throughout the week as nations and airlines ground its newest 737s over safety concerns. A second deadly crash over the weekend involving its 737 Max 8 and safety concerns stunted the company's stock gains.

Investors are also still waiting for more details on trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. Media reports had stoked hope that a summit would take place this month, but no concrete announcement has been made.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26 points, or 0.1 percent to 25,671 as of 10:50 a.m. The S&P 500 index fell 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq composite also fell 0.2 percent.

BAGGY FIT: Tailored Brands, which owns Men's Wearhouse, plunged 24.7 percent after giving investors a surprisingly weak first-quarter profit forecast. The company has been trying to increase sales at both Men's Wearhouse and its Jos. A. Bank stores, but is facing a tougher retail market.

DOLLAR DIP: Dollar General fell 9.4 percent after the company's fourth-quarter profit fell short of Wall Street forecasts. The discount-store operator also gave investors a weak full-year profit forecast.

OVERSHARING: Facebook fell 2 percent after the New York Times reported that its data-sharing practices are now under criminal investigation.

The investigation into how it sells data is the latest in a list of privacy scandals the social media company faces. Its privacy practices have already been scrutinized by The Federal Trade Commission. The company and its CEO have also faced Congressional inquiries.

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