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Monday, September 15, 2014

Nasdaq slumps to worst day since July; S&P 500 dips

US stocks closed with mixed results today as the tech sector dragged the Nasdaq to its worst day since July and kept the S&P 500 near the unchanged mark as investors cleared the decks for Alibaba's debut planned for later this week.

Alibaba's could be the largest initial public offering in history and has seen "overwhelming" interest, meaning Yahoo's 23 percent stake could be worth more next week than it is now. Yahoo stock pulled back from a 14-year high and fell 0.8 percent to 42.55 with 71.7 million shares traded, more than double its 10-day average of 34.2 million.

Heavily-traded Facebook and Netflix lost nearly 4 percent each. The S&P technology sector lost 0.6 percent as the worst performing of the 10 major S&P sectors.

Investors also exercised caution ahead of the policy statement from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, which could provide clues on the timing of an interest rate hike.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 43.63 points, or 0.26 percent, to 17,031.14, the S&P 500 lost 1.41 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,984.13, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 48.70 points, or 1.07 percent, to 4,518.90.

The decline for the Nasdaq marked its biggest drop since July 31.

EUROPEAN MARKETS

European shares slipped, with stocks trading in a narrow range before Scotland votes on independence and the Federal Reserve holds its latest policy meeting, both events that are due later this week.

The prospect of more mergers and acquisitions did fuel a rally among brewers, after the Wall Street Journal reported Anheuser-Busch InBev was talking to banks about financing a possible $122-billion bid for SABMiller.

SABMiller rose 9.8 percent, while shares in Heineken also climbed, by 3 percent, after it said SABMiller had approached it about a takeover but that its controlling shareholder intended to keep the company independent.

AB InBev shares gained 2.8 percent and Carlsberg added 2.7 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.05 percent lower at 1,382.32 points. The index has been moving sideways over the past week pending the Fed's meeting and Scotland's referendum.

ASIAN MARKETS

Meanwhile, Japanese share prices rose for the fifth straight session on Friday to end at an eight-month high, with exporters leading the gains on the yen's weakness.

Japan's Nikkei share average rose 0.3 percent to 15,948.29 points, its highest close since January 8. For the week, it gained 1.8 percent, outperforming most other share markets.

The broader Topix gained 0.2 percent to a six-year closing high, while the new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 rose 0.2 percent.

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Tags:  Stocks  shares  FTSEurofirst  Nikkei  US  Dow Jones  





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