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US: Shares lower as airlines, travel stocks hit by Belgium attacks


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks ended slightly lower Tuesday as airline and travel company shares took a hit following the deadly Belgium bombings that forced the shutdown of the Brussels airport.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 41.30 points (0.23 per cent) at 17,582.57.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 1.80 (0.09 per cent) at 2,049.80, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 12.79 (0.27 per cent) to 4,821.66.

The bombings in the Brussels subway and the Zaventem airport just outside the Belgian capital, claimed by the Islamic State group, left around 35 dead and scores more injured.

Market voices on:

"Considering the circumstances, equity markets are holding up pretty well," said Jack Ablin of BMO Private Bank.

"Investors have somewhat become inured to terrorist attacks," he noted.

The shares of major travel agencies were hit; Priceline lost 2.3 per cent, Expedia 1.7 per cent, and TripAdvisor 2.5 per cent.

Airlines flying between the United States and Europe also sank. American Airlines lost 1.6 per cent, United 1.1 per cent and Delta 1.4 per cent.

The Nasdaq got a pull upward from biotech shares with Amgen adding 2.5 per cent and drugmaker AbbVie adding 2.7 per cent.

Among Dow blue chips, Pfizer led with a one per cent rise while Goldman Sachs topped losers down 2.1 per cent.