Stocks move broadly lower as investors turn cautious

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks moved broadly lower Thursday as investors shifted to a more cautious stance following another record high for the market a day earlier.

Banks led the decline as bond yields made a significant move lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.71% from 1.79% late Wednesday.

Yields were already falling in the early going and were given an extra shove lower following a surprisingly weak survey on business activity in the Midwest.

Industrial companies were also among the biggest losers. Caterpillar fell 2.2% and 3M slipped 1.6%.

Technology stocks fell, despite solid gains from iPhone maker Apple following an encouraging earnings report.

Facebook rose sharply after releasing surprisingly good third-quarter results.

Utilities held up better than the rest of the market as investors moved money into safe-play holdings.

The market is still on track for a weekly gain after the S&P 500 set two record highs this week.

Investors have been assessing a steady flow of earnings and economic reports and are still looking forward to the government’s anticipated October employment report on Friday.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index fell 0.6% as of 12:25 Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 206, or 0.8%, to 26,979. The Nasdaq fell 0.4%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 1%.

OCTOBER BUMP: The market is on pace to mark its second straight monthly gain. The S&P 500 is up 1.7% in October as an easing of trade tensions and surprisingly good corporate earnings gave investors more confidence.

The Russell 2000 index is on track to outpace the broader market in another signal that investors were more confident this month and willing to take on more risk. The index, which tracks smaller companies, rose 2.2%.

POST-FED: The Federal Reserve’s latest move reduces the short-term rate it controls to a range between 1.5% and 1.75%. Investors had anticipated the move to lower interest rates, which is the third such rate cut this year.

The central bank has been lowering rates in an effort to shore up U.S. economic growth as it faces threats from the U.S.-China trade war. On Wednesday, it indicated that it won’t cut rates again in the coming months unless the economic outlook worsens.

INVESTORS LIKE: Facebook rose 2.7% after the social media company reported steady user growth during the third quarter and beat Wall Street’s earnings forecasts. The solid results come as the company faces continued scrutiny from regulators over alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

CRISP RESULTS: Apple rose 2.1% after its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings exceeded analysts’ forecasts as its newest iPhones got off to a better start than expected. In another encouraging sign for the company, Apple’s sales in China recovered further from a sharp drop-off earlier this year. That helped ease worries that Apple might be bruised by President Donald Trump’s trade war with the world’s most populous country.

OVERSEAS: Asian markets were mixed. Hong Kong’s government said the Chinese territory entered its first recession in a decade as anti-government protests depressed retail spending and tourism.

European markets fell. Statistics agency Eurostat said that the European economy grew just 0.2% in the quarter from the previous three-month period. The countries that share the euro are growing at a slower pace amid uncertainty over when and how Britain will leave the European Union and the U.S.-China trade dispute.

Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press