NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street’s three major indexes closed lower on Thursday, with tobacco stocks leading a tumble in consumer staples while concerns about smartphone demand hurt the technology sector and rising bond yields and earnings helped financials rebound.
The market pared some losses late in the session after Bloomberg reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump last week he is not a target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The report cited two unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Cigarette giant Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) was the second biggest weight on the S&P after weaker-than-expected results, also pulling down U.S. tobacco company Altria (MO.N).
A warning from Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) (2330.TW), the world’s largest contract chipmaker and an Apple Inc (AAPL.O) supplier, on soft demand for smartphones and on the industry’s growth this year sparked a tumble in chip stocks and made Apple the S&P’s second biggest weight.
Along with weak results from Philip Morris and Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N), defensive sectors such as consumer staples .SPLRCS were also hurt by a rise in U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, which helped bank stocks.
“It’s pretty much dictated by the move in the bond market,” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.
When yields are high, investors favor bonds over defensive sectors such as consumer staples and real