The S&P 500 Index dropped 4.98 points, or 0.46 percent in afternoon to trade at 1,087.19. The basic materials sector leads this drop, with the Dow Jones U.S. Basic Materials Index plunging 2.45 percent.
Potash (NYSE:POT), the Canadian fertilizer giant, dropped 2.43 percent to trade at $107.53. AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) plunged 4.24 percent to trade at $ 20.33 and agricultural giant Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) is down 2.85 percent, trading at $56.85.
The three companies are weighing on the basic materials sector, even though they all received favorable treatment from analysts today.
AK Steel was upgraded by Goldman Sachs to “buy” with a price target of $26. Bank of America resumed coverage of Potash and Mosaic. The firm gave Potash a “buy” rating and a price target of $140. Mosaic has a “buy” rating and a price target of $75.
Other basic materials stocks with serious losses include Freeport-McMoran (NYSE:FCX), Newmount Mining (NYSE:NEM), and Nucor (NYSE:NUE). Energy and utilities stocks are also among the largest droppers.
US Steel (NYSE:X) leads the decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average as the company continues to slide after missing expectations yesterday. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is the second steepest decliner after reporting weak revenues this morning.
Basic materials and energy stocks, a barometer for infrastructure spending, are down ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee statement scheduled to be released at 2:15 pm today.