December 20, 2014
Wall Street edges up; indexes post losses for week
Shares of Wells Fargo & Co., which fell 0.6 percent to $51.49, were in the spotlight as the biggest US mortgage lender was the first major US bank to report earnings.
Wells Fargo's results will be followed next week by earnings from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.
Next week's flurry of earnings will include reports from Google and Intel.
Internet names ranked among the day's biggest gainers, with shares of Amazon.com Inc up 5.6 percent at $346.20, and eBay Inc up 2.3 percent at $51.50.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 28.74 points or 0.17 percent, to end at 16,943.81. The S&P 500 gained 2.89 points or 0.15 percent, to 1,967.57. The Nasdaq Composite added 19.29 points or 0.44 percent, to 4,415.49.
For the week, the Dow ended down 0.7 percent, the S&P 500 slid 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq tumbled 1.6 percent.
A sharp drop in oil prices slammed energy shares, with US crude futures settling down more than $2 a barrel. Shares of Exxon Mobil were down 0.8 percent at $101.74 and were the biggest drag on the S&P 500. Chevron, down 1.4 percent at $128.47, was the Dow's biggest percentage decliner.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,657 to 1,358, for a 1.2-to-1 ratio on the upside. On the Nasdaq, advancers were about even with decliners.
About 4.9 billion shares traded on US exchanges, below the 5.4 billion average for the month to date, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
European markets steadied and shares in Lisbon staged a small bounce as concerns eased about the health of Portugal's largest bank and its impact on the euro zone financial system.
Banco Espirito Santo said late on Thursday that losses associated with the founding family and its holding company would not affect the bank. That calmed investor worries about a chain reaction hitting other banks, especially in the euro zone's periphery.
Lisbon's PSI 20 index rose 0.6 percent but was still down 10 percent on the week, its biggest drop since 2010, when the country's sovereign debt crisis started.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up 0.2 percent to 1,352.11 points but closed the week 3.5 percent lower, its steepest loss since April.
Doubts about the financial health of the family that controls BES had pulled the PSI 20 to a nine-month low on Thursday and rocked bourses across Europe.
Shares in BES opened for trading late on Friday morning and closed a volatile session 5.5 percent lower, as investors factored in the bank's newly released estimates about its exposure to its holding company.
Analysts at Portugal's BPI wrote in a note that the announcement was negative, as the overall direct and indirect exposure, including guarantees, was around 850 million euros higher than previously mentioned.
Trading volume on the FTSEurofirst 300 was almost 20 percent lower than its full-day average for the past three months.