US stocks edge mostly lower after a big post-election surge

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Stocks in the U.S. are taking small losses at midday Thursday after a big rally the day before. Technology and internet companies are slipping after chipmaker Qualcomm gave a disappointing revenue forecast for the current quarter. Health care companies are broadly higher after a big gain a day ago following the U.S. midterm elections, and banks are rising as the Federal Reserve wraps up its latest meeting.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index shed 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,811 as of noon Eastern time. The S&P 500 jumped 2.1 percent Wednesday. That was its sixth gain in the last seven trading days, a rally that’s helped stocks make up a lot of the ground they lost in October.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 71 points, or 0.3 percent, to 26,252. The Nasdaq composite dipped 26 points, or 0.3 percent, to 7,544 after it surged 2.6 percent a day earlier. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,580.

Stocks climbed Wednesday after the midterm elections generally went the way investors thought they would. The Democrats took control of the House of Representatives while the Republicans held on to a majority in the Senate. That means that politics appears that much less likely to crowd out the performance of the strong U.S. economy. A Federal Reserve meeting ending Thursday is not expected to result in an interest rate hike.

HOME WRECKED: D.R. Horton, one of the largest homebuilders, fell 5.8 percent to $35.42 after its earnings and sales fell short of Wall Street forecasts. The company said rising home prices and mortgage rates are affecting demand. That exact combination has been weighing on home sales and the stocks all year. On Thursday PulteGroup fell 2.8 percent to $24.39 and Lennar skidded 2.1 percent to $42.08.

COMM ON: Chipmaker Qualcomm had a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter, but investors were startled by its forecasts for the current period. It’s projecting revenue of $4.5 billion to $5.3 billion, far below the $5.6 billion analysts expected, according to FactSet. Its stock lost 6.9 percent to $58.82.

Apple stopped making royalty payments to Qualcomm following a dispute between the companies, and later decided to stop using Qualcomm modems in some of its products. Qualcomm said both of those changes have hurt its results.

BONDS: Bond prices were steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note remained at 3.23 percent. The Federal Reserve will conclude its latest meeting Thursday and it’s not expected to raise interest rates, but traders will examine the central bank’s statement for signs about its plans for the economy. The Fed has been steadily raising rates over the last three years and is expected to increase its benchmark rate again in December.

Banks climbed as long-term interest rates remained near highest levels of this year. Bank of America gained 1.9 percent to $29.10 and U.S. Bancorp rose 1.1 percent to $53.18. The financial sector rose Wednesday, but not as much as the rest of the market.

High-dividend stocks fell. NextEra Energy lost 1 percent to $171.81 and timberland real estate owner Weyerhauser dipped 2 percent to $26.97. Those stocks climbed in October as the rest of the market dropped because investors consider them safe options, but they’ve faded recently as stocks stabilized and high-growth companies started to do better.

WYNN LOSES: Wynn Resorts dropped 11.1 percent to $101.35 after the casino operator said its business in Macau has slowed down recently.

MONSTER MASHED: Monster Beverage sank 4.2 percent to $53.56 after it said Coca-Cola is developing two energy drinks that could compete with Monster’s products. The two companies have a partnership, and Monster said it believes Coca-Cola is not allowed to market the new products under that deal. It said Coca-Cola won’t start selling the drinks until April while the companies take the dispute to arbitration.

OVERSEAS: Germany’s DAX lost 0.6 percent and the British FTSE 100 picked up 0.2 percent. The CAC 40 in France was 0.3 percent lower.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 1.8 percent and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7 percent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng added 0.3 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 0.5 percent to $61.40 a barrel in New York, and Brent crude lost 0.9 percent to$71.39 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.65 yen from 113.34 yen. The euro fell to $1.1434 from $1.1455.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP





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