Wednesday
December 13, 2017
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wall St ends little changed after mixed data

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.96 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,814.94.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.96 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,814.94.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.96 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,814.94.

US stocks ended little changed as the US economy grew more than expected last quarter but soft readings on consumer confidence and house prices kept major indexes in a tight range.

Third-quarter gross domestic product came in much stronger than expected but separate data showing consumer confidence sliding to a five-month low and a further moderation in house price gains put a lid on the market's advance.

The moves did not show much conviction in either direction and volume was low, with about 6.1 billion shares traded, below this month's daily average of 6.36 billion. US markets will be closed on Thursday, while Friday will be a half-day session.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 2.96 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,814.94, the S&P 500 lost 2.38 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,067.03 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.36 points, or 0.07 percent, to 4,758.25.

The S&P hit an intraday record near 2,075 and has risen in 12 of its last 15 sessions. It is up 13.5 percent from an intraday six-month low hit mid-October.

Energy shares were the weakest performers on the benchmark index, down 1.6 percent. US crude futures fell 2.5 percent to near their lowest in more than four years ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday where a cut in production will likely be discussed.

Exxon Mobil fell 1 percent to $94.78 while Chevron was off 1.2 percent to $116.15.

Apple hit a high of $119.75, briefly reaching a $700 billion market capitalization, the largest on Wall Street.

The second-largest publicly-traded US company, Exxon, has a market cap just above $400 billion. Apple closed down 0.9 percent at $117.60, ranking as the largest points weight on the S&P 500.

Tiffany & Co rose 2.5 percent to $107.60 after same-store sales growth beat expectations.

NYSE advancers outnumbered decliners 1,638 to 1,414, for a 1.16-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,371 issues fell and 1,324 advanced, for a 1.04-to-1 ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 80 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 123 new highs and 43 new lows.

EUROPEAN STOCKS

Across the Atlantic, European stocks rose, with a benchmark index hitting a nine-week high as euro zone banking shares gained on mounting expectation of more stimulus from the European Central Bank.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, ING and BNP Paribas were up 2.0-2.2 percent. They were the top three risers among European blue chips, boosted by market speculation that the ECB will launch a quantitative easing programme in early 2015.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,390.18 points, after rising to as much as 1,395.34 points earlier in the session, a level not seen since September 22.

The benchmark index has surged nearly 15 percent from a low hit in mid-October, bolstered by the prospect of further ECB easing as well as recent policy measures taken by the Bank of Japan and the Bank of China.

Today's rally was limited, however, by losses in resource-related shares, hurt by a recent slump in crude oil and metal prices. BHP Billiton was down 1.2 percent, BP was 0.6 percent lower and Total was off 1.2 percent.

Brent crude oil steadied around $80 a barrel today ahead of a key meeting of OPEC oil producers to decide on production levels for next year. Oil prices have tumbled more than 30 percent since mid-June.

Around Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 percent, Germany's DAX index was 0.6 percent higher and France's CAC 40 was up 0.2 percent.

Shares in E.ON rose 2.8 percent after sources said late yesterday that E.ON's Italian assets had drawn interest from a handful of energy companies and investment funds on the final day for a binding bid.

Shares in Spain's Telefonica rose 0.8 percent and BT gained 1.4 percent after a report said the latter could offer at least 6 billion euros ($7.5 billion) to the Spanish company for the O2 mobile network, on top of a 20 percent stake in BT's share capital.

NIKKEI

Meanwhile, The Osaka Exchange started trading of the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 futures today amid increasing interest from foreign investors seeking long-term investment in companies with a relatively high return on equity.

The new JPX-Nikkei Index 400 futures is based on the JPX-Nikkei Index 400, a benchmark introduced this year comprising firms with high ROE and strong corporate governance. It was jointly developed by Japan Exchange Group and Nikkei Inc.

The index has been endorsed by some of Japan's most influential financial institutions.

Last month, the Bank Of Japan said it will buy exchange-traded funds that track the JPX-Nikkei 400 when it tripled annual purchases of ETFs to about 3 trillion yen.

The Government Pension Investment Fund, Japan's $1.1 trillion public pension fund, has also adopted it as a benchmark for some of its domestic equity portfolios.

Traders expect similar moves by other public and private pension funds will follow as investors place a higher premium on ROE.

Japanese companies have famously poor ROE. On average, they produce a net return of 8.6 cents on each dollar of shareholders' equity, compared with 15.1 cents in the United States, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.

JPX-Nikkei Index 400 futures ended at 12,890 points, with 70,319 contracts struck, while Nikkei futures added 0.3 percent to 17,430 points, with 70,348 contracts and the Topix futures gained 0.6 percent to close at 1,411.00 with 49,210 contracts.

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Tags:  Stocks  shares  FTSEurofirst  Nikkei  US  Dow Jones  





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