December 19, 2013
Dow, S&P 500 down after 2-day winning streak
The Dow and the S&P 500 ended lower today following two sessions of gains as investors weighed the implications of strong economic data for the path of monetary policy over the next several months.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 20.90 points, or 0.13 percent, at 15,618.22. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 4.96 points, or 0.28 percent, at 1,762.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.27 points, or 0.08 percent, at 3,939.86.
Shortly after the data was released, the S&P fell as much as 0.7 percent.
European shares were steady in early trade hovering around five-year highs as mixed results from blue chips and uncertainty in the run-up to an ECB policy meeting kept investor enthusiasm for equities in check.
Shares in BMW dropped 4.2 percent after the German carmaker said quarterly profit at its auto unit fell more than expected, hurt by the cost of new technology and price discounts in core European markets.
Results were brighter at Beiersdorf, with its stock up 3.8 percent. The maker of Nivea creams and lotions lifted its 2013 sales forecast and said it had gained market share from rivals in Europe.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.04 percent at 1,293.05 points, after rising as high as 1,297.29 earlier, a level not seen since mid-2008.
Recent tame inflation figures in Europe have sparked speculation about a possible rate cut this week, though all but one of 23 euro money market traders polled by Reuters expect the ECB to leave borrowing costs unchanged.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei average edged higher ending a two-day losing run as gains made by companies such as farm equipment maker Kubota Corp after lifting earnings forecasts countered Nissan Motor Co Ltd's plunge on weaker guidance.