Stocks slipped on Thursday due to a drag from 3M Co, profit-taking in financials and unease about the implications of the Federal Reserve's action to flood the financial system with cash.
However, resurgent oil prices lifted energy shares, helping to cushion the market. Shares of Exxon Mobil
The jump in oil prices followed a move by the U.S. Federal Reserve to pump another $1 trillion into the U.S. economy, including buying Treasury bonds for the first time in four decades. The step triggered a slide in Treasury bond yields and the U.S. dollar, and also sent commodities prices higher.
Analysts said investors fretted about the possibility of the Fed's action stirring up inflation in the long term.
It's not only what else can they do, but what are the unintended consequences of all the things they are doing, said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc, an investment advisory firm, based in Toledo, Ohio.
When investors step back and look at the whole picture it might not be as rosy to chase stocks here as some people seem to be doing.
Shares of 3M, a diversified manufacturer, declined more than 2 percent to $47.99 after a brokerage slashed its price target on the stock, saying it saw near term weakness in the company's end markets. 3M was the top drag on the Dow.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 44.84 points, or 0.60 percent, to 7,441.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 3.48 points, or 0.44 percent, to 790.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> shed 3.29 points, or 0.22 percent, to 1,487.93.
Among financials, shares of JPMorgan
As part of the plan Citigroup would conduct a reverse stock split, reducing its share count and boosting its share price. Shares of General Electric
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)