US stocks fell Thursday as technology firms and small companies skidded. Investors bought high-dividend stocks, which pulled the market away from steeper losses.
Stocks dropped in early trading as investors reacted to rising interest rates in the United States, while the Bank of England came unexpectedly close to raising UK interest rates for the first time in 10 years. Smaller, more domestically oriented companies fell as investors wondered if the expanding special counsel investigation in Washington will affect President Trump’s proposed agenda of cuts in taxes and regulations.
‘‘Investors are getting a bit antsy waiting for these pro-growth policies,’’ said Karyn Cavanaugh of Voya Investment Strategies.
Elsewhere, technology companies continued their recent slump, while shoe retailer Nike and toy maker Mattel both fell. But industrial companies rose on new signs US manufacturing has steadied, and utilities and real estate companies did well.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 0.2 percent, to 2,432.46. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 0.1 percent, to 21,359.90, after it closed at a record high Wednesday. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.5 percent, to 6,165.50. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks fell 0.5 percent, to 1,410.08.
Technology companies, which have done far better than the rest of the market this year, continued to slide. The stocks have been slipping since Friday, and the Nasdaq is on track for its second consecutive weekly loss.
Nike declined 3.2 percent after the company said it will eliminate 1,400 jobs, or about 2 percent of its staff positions, and reduce the number of sneaker styles it sells by about a quarter. Amazon declilned 1.3 percent.
Grocery chain Kroger took its biggest one-day loss since 1999. The company cut its annual profit outlook as it deals with growing competition The stock plunged 18.9 percent. Competitor Supervalu fell 7.4 percent.
Mattel said wants to restructure its business to help bring new products to market faster. It will also reduce its dividend payments. The stock fell 6.7 percent.