U.S. Stocks Drop From Records as Energy Producers Sink

U.S. stocks fell a third day, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its longest slump since June, as energy producers sank with oil prices to overshadow new stimulus from the European Central Bank.

Energy shares sank 1.3 percent for the biggest drop among the 10 main S&P 500 groups, as crude fell 1.1 percent in New York. Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. each lost 0.8 percent to pace declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. PVH Corp. surged 9.6 percent after the owner of the Calvin Klein clothing brand posted profit that topped estimates. Fastenal Co. rose 4 percent after reporting a sales increase.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.2 percent to 1,997.65 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow lost 8.7 points to 17,069.58. Both gauges earlier climbed to intraday records. More than 5.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges today, 1.8 percent above the three-month average.

“The market is kind of tired,” Walter Todd, who oversees about $1 billion as chief investment officer for Greenwood, South Carolina-based Greenwood Capital Associates LLC, said in a phone interview. “We saw such a quick bounce off the 1,900 level in early August straight up to a new high. In the very near-term, you’ve got a variety of headwinds and exhaustion around the move higher.”

The S&P 500 has fallen 0.3 percent in the past three days after ending last month at a record. The index gained 3.8 percent in August, the biggest increase since February, and topped 2,000 for the first time.

ECB Stimulus

The ECB cut interest rates and will start buying assets, boosting the flow of funding for the euro-area economy while stopping short of broad-based quantitative easing. The move boosted European stocks and sent two-year note yields below zero in eight countries.

The U.S. equity gauge slipped yesterday as Apple Inc. dropped after a competitor unveiled new products and amid conflicting reports about progress on a peace plan for Ukraine.

The country’s ’s eastern provinces teetered between war and peace as President Petro Poroshenko moved to halt the combat and pro-Russian rebels sought to consolidate gains made in more than five months of fighting.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, the gauge of S&P options prices known as the VIX, climbed 2.3 percent today to 12.64 for a third day of gains and the longest winning streak since Aug. 1. The gauge lost 29 percent last month, the biggest drop in almost three years.

U.S. data today showed service providers expanded in August at the fastest pace in nine years, a sign of growing momentum in the broadest sector of the economy. Applications for unemployment benefits in the were little changed last week, while a separate report indicated firms added fewer jobs in August than estimated. The Labor Department’s monthly jobs report is due tomorrow.