US stocks pull back; Snap surges in debut

Snap cofounders Evan Spiegel (C) and Bobby Murphy ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, March 2, 2017.
Snap cofounders Evan Spiegel (C) and Bobby Murphy ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, March 2, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks retreated from records on Thursday (March 2) amid weakness in energy and financial shares, while Snapchat owner Snap Inc surged in its first day of trading.

Analysts said a pullback in the broader market was to be expected after US stocks gained more than 1 per cent in a heady session on Wednesday that left all three indices at records.

"A lot of it has to do with that move yesterday," said Bill Lynch, director of investment at Hinsdale Associates. "I think it's just a simple case of profit taking today given the large move in major stock averages yesterday."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.5 per cent to close at 21,002.97 after breaking through 21,000 for the first time on Wednesday.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.6 per cent to end the day at 2,381.90, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.7 per cent to finish at 5,861.22.

Leading banking shares, which had piled on more than three percent Wednesday, were among the biggest losers, with JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America falling more than 1 per cent.

Energy shares also fell on lower oil prices.

Snap, parent of the instant messaging service Snapchat, jumped 44 per cent after raising US$3.4 billion (S$4.8 billion), in the richest US tech company listing since Facebook in 2012.

The company saw its share price end its debut trading session at US$24.48 well above its initial price of US$17.

Dow member Caterpillar slumped 4.3 per cent after federal investigators descended on the industrial giant's facilities in and around its Peoria, Illinois headquarters.

Company officials did not comment on the nature of the probe, but local media said there were officials from the Internal Revenue Service and other US agencies.

Monster Beverage jumped 12.7 per cent after reporting fourth quarter net income rose 24.7 per cent to US$172.9 million.