Stock Indexes Turn Lower

Stock indexes were lower in thin trading Friday morning as the Dow Jones Industrial Average moves further from the 20,000 level.

The run to record highs for all three benchmarks has taken a breather in holiday-lightened trade the past two days. The Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell 3 points to a reading of 54.6 in December versus an expected 57. The decline was more pronounced than expected but remains in expansionary territory. The six-month moving average dipped to 54.1 in December from 54.4 in November.

Crude futures declined with US benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil falling 0.4% and global standard Brent oil down 0.3%.

In equities, Opko Health (OPK) shares declined in early trading Friday after it said data in a study of its investigational treatment for adults suffering from a growth hormone deficiency showed little difference from a placebo. Innocoll AG (INNL) shares fell to a new low after the company said late Thursday that the Food and
Drug Administration issued a refuse-to-file letter for the company’s post-surgical pain drug candidate.

By Fred Canto