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Stocks Move Broadly Lower Early Friday 03/22 10:00

   U.S. stocks moved broadly lower in early trading on Wall Street Friday, 
dragged down by banks and industrial companies.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks moved broadly lower in early trading on Wall 
Street Friday, dragged down by banks and industrial companies.

   Citigroup led a decline in banks with a 3.8 percent loss as bond yields 
continue to drop, threatening the profitability of financial companies that 
make money from lending.

   Boeing gave up 1.8 percent after Indonesia's flag carrier became the first 
airline to seek to cancel an order of 737 Max 8 jets, which have been involved 
in two fatal crashes in the past six months.

   Nike, another component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, dropped 4.6 
percent after reporting weak sales in North America. And Greenbrier, which 
makes railroad equipment, plunged 9.5 percent after releasing a dismal forecast.

   Investors shifted money into lower-risk, high-dividend stocks. Utilities, 
real estate companies and makers of consumer products were the only sectors to 
rise.

   Those sectors also became more attractive to investors seeking income as 
bond yields continued to fall.

   Key bond yields fell this week to their lowest levels in more than a year 
after the Federal Reserve said it was seeing slower growth in the economy and 
no longer expected to raise interest rates this year. Investors are also buying 
bonds, sending yields lower, because they're worried about slowing economic 
growth elsewhere in the world, especially Europe.

   The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which is used to set rates 
on mortgages and many other kinds of loans, fell to 2.45 percent from 2.54 
percent late Thursday, a big move. That's down sharply from its recent high of 
3.23 percent in early October.

   KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.8 percent as of 10:30 a.m. At this 
rate the market would be headed for its worst daily loss since February 7.

   The Dow fell 225 points, or 0.9 percent, to 25,729 and the Nasdaq composite 
fell 0.9 percent.

   The stock market has seesawed from gains to losses throughout the week, but 
the S&P 500 index is still closing in on its second straight weekly gain and is 
up more than 13 percent for the year.

   OVERSEAS: European stocks were broadly lower after surveys revealed a 
worsening manufacturing slowdown in the region. Britain's FT-SE lost 1.6 
percent and France's CAC 40 gave up 1.5 percent.

   LOOSE LACES: Nike stumbled after disappointing sales in its vital North 
America market fell short of analysts' forecasts and it warned of a sales 
slowdown.

   The weak regional results overshadowed an otherwise solid third quarter for 
the athletic apparel maker, which is best known for its sneakers and athletic 
shoes. Revenue and profit grew during quarter, beating forecasts.

   North American sales make up the majority of the company's revenue and 
footwear is the largest driver of sales. The company faces constant competition 
from German rival Adidas, which has been working to gain a stronger foothold in 
North America.

   GOOD SPORT: Regional sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports surged 22 
percent after blowing away Wall Street's fourth-quarter profit forecasts. The 
company reported profit of 57 cents per share while analysts expected 39 cents 
per share.

   The company operates most of its stores Georgia, Texas and Alabama. The 
solid results were driven by increases in sales at existing stores and online. 
Hibbett's profit forecast for the fiscal year was also well above Wall Street's 
expectations. 


(BE)

 
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