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Bank, technology stocks drag market to second straight loss

Stocks closed modestly lower on Wall Street Wednesday, handing the market its second straight loss.

Banks and technology companies accounted for much of the slide as investors shifted money into U.S. bonds, precious metals and other holdings considered safe havens after more than a week of aggressive buying.

Energy stocks took the heaviest losses following a 4% drop in the price of U.S. crude oil. That helped outweigh gains in health care, utilities and elsewhere in the market.

The latest decline followed a broad drop in stocks that ended a five-day winning streak for the market. The Federal Reserve set off last week’s rally when it signaled that it is willing to cut interest rates to help stabilize the economy if the U.S. trade war with China starts to crimp growth.

Investors are worried that the dispute will drag on much longer than previously expected, weighing on economic growth and corporate profits. That has traders looking ahead to next week’s Fed meeting.

“There are concerns about whether or not the Fed next week at its meeting is going to in fact continue to move its stance toward lowering rates,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “The increasing concern is that the global economy continues to slow and that the slowdown is affecting the United States as well.”

The S&P 500 index lost 5.88 points, or 0.2%, to 2,879.84. The benchmark index rose 4.4% last week, its best weekly performance of 2019. It’s now about 2.2% below its record set on April 30.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 43.68 points, or 0.2%, to 26,004.83. The technology heavy Nasdaq composite index dropped 29.85 points, or 0.4%, to 7,792.72. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks gained 0.68 points, or less than 0.1%, to 1,519.79.

Major indexes in Europe fell broadly.

The sell-off in U.S. markets reflects heightened investor uncertainty over trade and its impact on the economy.

President Donald Trump’s decision to threaten an expansion of the trade war to Mexico made a jittery market even more uneasy. Those potential tariffs have been indefinitely postponed, but the move left its mark.Bank, technology stocks drag market to second straight loss