December 14, 2017
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wall Street ends flat; LinkedIn jumps after the bell

Wall Street ended flat today as investors digested ho-hum corporate earnings and new data showed that the economy grew more quickly in the second quarter.

Procter & Gamble, Facebook and Whole Foods Market all fell after quarterly reports that left investors wanting more.

US economic growth accelerated in the June quarter as solid consumer spending offset a drag from weak business spending on equipment, suggesting steady momentum that could bring the Federal Reserve closer to hiking interest rates this year.

With a mixed bag of corporate earnings over halfway through second-quarter reporting season and a sharp focus on when the Federal Reserve will begin raising interest rates from near zero, investors on Thursday saw few reasons to pay more for shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended 0.03 percent weaker at 17,745.98, while the S&P 500 was unchanged at 2,108.63. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.33 percent to 5,128.79.

Six of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the utilities index leading gainers, up 0.72 percent, and the energy index the biggest decliner, down 0.65 percent.

Today's GDP report lifted the dollar as some investors bet on a September, rather than December, rate hike. The dollar index rose 0.6 percent to 97.545 after touching its highest in a week.

European equities enjoyed their third straight day of gains with results from Siemens, Nokia and Safran underpinning the signs of recovery.

Sentiment was also buoyed by the US Federal Reserve's relatively bright picture of improving labour-market conditions, without appearing any more aggressive than expected on the timing of an interest rate increase.

However, concerns over China's growth and emerging markets weighed on companies, among them drinks group Anheuser-Busch InBev. Carmaker Renault warned of a "significant" emerging markets slowdown in 2015.

Data from Germany, whose economy is the most export-dependent in Europe, showed an unexpected rise in unemployment in July. Construction company Saint-Gobain said the outlook for its German business remained uncertain.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 0.6 percent, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index edged up 0.2 percent. The FTSEurofirst is up around 15 percent in 2015.

German trains-to-turbines group Siemens beat expectations with its third-quarter results. Nokia's operating margin results also beat market expectations, while Safran shares surged 10 percent after the company raised its profit forecast.

Meanwhile, Nikkei share average rose sharply to a near one-week high as investors in export focused firms took heart from the Federal Reserve's upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy, and strong earnings posted by blue-chips like Hitachi and Nintendo.

The Nikkei share average ended 1.1 percent higher at 20,522.83, the highest closing level since July 24. It snapped a four-day losing streak.

The broader Topix rose 0.8 percent to 1,647.21 in heavy trade, with 2.60 billion shares changing hands, the highest volume since July 10. The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.8 percent to 14,859.33.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  

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