Stocks on two-day losing streak

Posted: November 11, 2017 at 1:42 a.m.

An electronic stock board shows the Hang Seng Index at a bank in Hong Kong, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. Asian shares sank Friday, following declines on Wall Street after a proposed delay to U.S. tax cut plan dented investor sentiment.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

NEW YORK -- Stocks fell for the second day in a row Friday, which hadn't happened in a month, as Amazon put a scare into yet another industry: medical device and health care equipment companies.

Those companies slumped after an analyst for Citi Investment Research said Amazon might be on the verge of shaking up their industry by speeding up distribution and cutting prices.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.32 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,582.30. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 39.73 points, or 0.2 percent, to 23,422.21. The Nasdaq composite turned higher and rose 0.89 point to 6,750.94. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks inched up 0.26 point to 1,475.27.

Energy companies gave up some of their recent gains Friday while retailers, media companies and household goods companies moved higher. Stocks finished the week with small losses, ending an eight-week winning streak.

One factor in those losses was uncertainty over the Republican plan to cut taxes. Stocks dipped Thursday after Senate Republicans proposed leaving corporate tax rates alone in 2018 before cutting them in 2019. That surprised investors, who pulled stocks down slightly from their recent record highs.

The S&P 500 set an all-time high on Wednesday but finished the week down 0.2 percent. The index had gained 5 percent over its winning streak, the longest in almost four years. The Russell 2000, which is comprised of smaller companies that might benefit more from a corporate tax cut, fell 1.3 percent this week. That was its largest loss in three months.

Citi Investment Research analyst Amit Hazan wrote Friday that Amazon is making quick progress in the medical supply field and could soon start distributing goods to hospitals, as some organizations appear interested in working with the online retail giant.

"New online distribution/wholesaling models like Amazon's will come to dominate the supply chain" in coming years, Hazan said.

Shares of Baxter International, which sells intravenous pumps and other hospital equipment, fell $1.35, or 2.1 percent, to $64.04. Becton, Dickinson dipped $5.25, or 2.3 percent, to $219.23. Medical device maker Medtronic slid $1.48, or 1.8 percent, to $79.33.

Competition with Amazon has hurt retailers for years, and the online giant has also pressured supermarkets and grocery stores with its purchase of Whole Foods. In recent weeks, health care product companies, medication distributors and drugstores have all fallen as Wall Street wondered what Amazon's logistics expertise and its willingness to cut prices will do to their businesses.

Walt Disney Co. rose $2.10, or 2 percent, to $104.78 after it said it received bigger payments from cable companies for ESPN and offered more details about its planned sports streaming services.

U.S. crude oil lost 43 cents to $56.74 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 41 cents to $63.52 a barrel in London.

Bond prices slumped. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.38 percent from 2.34 percent.

Business on 11/11/2017