US stocks slip further from record highs as banks decline

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ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTS that U.S. stocks are starting lower for the second time in three days as most parts of the market slip. Banks, which surged last week as interest rates quickly rose, are returning some of their gains. Meat producer Tyson Foods is falling after avian flu was discovered at a supplier’s farm.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,372 as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 44 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,961. The Nasdaq composite lost 31 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,839. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks sank 10 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,383.

CHINESE CONGRESS: Over the weekend Premier Li Keqiang, China’s top economic official, trimmed the country’s growth target to 6.5 percent and warned of dangers from global pressure for trade controls. Li promised to cut surplus steel production that is straining trade relations with Washington and Europe and pledged equal treatment for foreign companies. China is the second-largest economy in the world, and the prospect of lower growth hurt the price of copper. Steel companies also skidded. U.S. Steel fell 93 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $36.80.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 12 cents to $53.45 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 26 cents to $56.14 a barrel in London. Natural gas futures jumped 3.5 percent to $2.93 per 1,000 cubic feet.

BONDS: Bond prices inched lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.49 percent from 2.48 percent. Bond yields jumped last week as investors grew more certain the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this month.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 113.82 yen from 114.05 yen. The euro dipped to $1.0601 from $1.0605.

OVERSEAS: In Germany the DAX fell 0.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.5 percent and so did the FTSE 100 in Britain. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index fell 0.5 percent and the South Korean Kospi gained 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.2%

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