US stocks retreat from records as oil shares tumble

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street stocks retreated from record highs on Tuesday (June 20)  as petroleum-linked equities fell on slumping oil prices and airlines dropped following flight cancellations.

Oil producers and suppliers tumbled after US oil prices sagged to their lowest level of 2017, a drop into “bear market” territory, according to US financial media. ConocoPhillips and Schlumberger both lost more than 1 per cent.

Airlines were another weak group, with American Airlines shedding 3.3 per cent after it axed dozens of flights because of dangerously high heat in the state of Arizona. United Continental and Delta Air Lines both lost more than one percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 per cent to 21,467.14.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.7 per cent to 2,437.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.8 per cent to 6,188.03.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 had finished at records Monday.

Among other sectors, media shares such as Comcast, Disney and 21st Century Fox fell, while drugmakers, including Dow members Merck and Pfizer, pushed higher.

Ford fell 1 per cent as it announced it would import new Focus sedans to the US market from China after a highly-publicised move to cancel plans to build the car in Mexico following criticism from President Donald Trump. Ford said no American jobs will be lost.

Mattel dropped 2 per cent after unveiling its all-American Ken doll in a range of new skin tones and in three body types. A similar campaign for Mattel’s “Barbie” doll helped boost sales.

Chipotle Mexican Grill stumbled 7.2 per cent as it warned that marketing and promotion costs were higher in the second quarter and would constitute a higher percentage of sales compared with the first quarter.