December 19, 2014
Wall St finishes flat on mixed earnings; S&P at record
US stocks ended a quiet session today as earnings painted a mixed picture of the economy, though the S&P 500 set another record closing high.
The latest economic data failed to entice buyers. US claims for initial jobless benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 284,000, the lowest since mid-February 2006. New home sales declined 8.1 percent in June, the biggest drop in almost a year. The PHLX housing sector index lost 2.7 percent, marking its biggest one-day drop since February.
The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 2.83 points or 0.02 percent, to end at 17,083.80. The S&P 500 gained 0.97 of a point or 0.05 percent to 1,987.98. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.59 points or 0.04 percent, to close at 4,472.11.
At its record intraday high of 1,991.39, the S&P 500 was just 0.4 percent below the 2,000 milestone.
During the regular session, stocks that made big moves after earnings included Under Armour Inc - up 14.7 percent at $69.55 after the sports apparel manufacturer and retailer reported a sharp rise in revenue. Under Armour's stock hit an all-time intraday high of $70.25 and was the S&P 500's biggest gainer.
Almost 51 percent of stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange ended the day lower, while 52 percent of Nasdaq-listed shares ended in negative territory.
About 5.58 billion shares traded on all US platforms, according to BATS exchange data, compared with the month-to-date average of 5.54 billion.
European shares closed higher after better than expected economic data, as well as solid corporate results in Spain that encouraged a certain optimism for the region's recovery.
The Euro STOXX 50 index closed with gains of 0.41 percent, to 3,050.27 points, while the Europe-wide FTSEurofirst index was up 0.44 percent to close at 1,381.71 points.
Spanish stocks rose 1.9 percent and was the best-performing out of the principal local markets, after reports from banks Banco Sabadell and Bankinter that showed higher than expected nett credit profits.
Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average edged down today in choppy trade as investors awaited Japanese quarterly results, while geopolitical worries about Gaza curbed risk appetites, offsetting a strong private survey on Chinese manufacturing.
The Nikkei ended 0.3 percent lower at 15,284.42 after trading in positive territory earlier.
The broader Topix dropped 0.2 percent to 1,269.86, and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 shed 0.2 percent to 11,563.00.