NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes edged lower in morning trading Tuesday as investors await earnings from the few companies yet to announce results and a jobs report later this week. The Nasdaq fell below 5,000 a day after passing that milestone for the first time since the dot-com era 15 years ago.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 98 points, or 0.5 percent, to 18,190 as of 11:06 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 12 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,105. The Nasdaq composite dropped 35 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,973.
NASDAQ MILESTONE: The drop in the Nasdaq follows a 0.9 percent gain on Monday that put it just 40 points from its 5,048.62 peak reached March 10, 2000. The index has changed significantly since then. Gone is the heavy weighting of telecommunications stocks and big bets on Internet companies with little or no earnings.
DIVIDEND HIKE: Best Buy gained 34 cents, or 1 percent, to $38.97 after it said it would raise its dividend 21 percent and give shareholders an additional one-time payment. The nation's biggest electronics chain also reported fourth-quarter earnings that were higher than financial analysts had expected.
FORD'S FIZZLE: Ford's U.S. sales fell 1.9 percent last month as dealers lacked the inventory to meet demand for the new F-150 pickup truck. Its stock dropped 42 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $16.14.
All automakers report U.S. sales on Tuesday. Analysts had predicted an 8 percent increase over a year ago to nearly 1.3 million vehicles, based on the strength of the U.S. economy.
SUNNY CEOS: The outlook for sales at big U.S. companies over the next six months hasn't been this good in three years, according to a survey of top CEOs released Tuesday by the lobbying group Business Roundtable.
EUROPEAN MARKETS: France's CAC 40 fell 0.6 percent and Germany's DAX slipped 0.5 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 edged down 0.4 percent.
CHINA MEETING: Investors were keeping an eye on China, whose ceremonial legislature starts its annual session on Thursday and is expected to announce a target for economic growth in 2015. Last year's target was 7.5 percent, which China narrowly missed, posting 7.4 percent, the slowest in 24 years. There are expectations the target will be lowered to 7 percent this year as China manages a multiyear shift in its economy away from industrial led growth to consumers and services.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 inched down 0.1 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.7 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.4 percent. Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $49.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 17 cents to close at $49.59 a barrel on Monday.
CURRENCIES, BONDS: The dollar was trading at 119.53 yen, down from 120.14 yen. The euro rose to $1.1195 from $1.1183. Bond prices didn't move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.09 percent from 2.08 percent.