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December 14, 2017
Friday, July 31, 2015

Wall Street ends lower as weak oil weighs

Wall Street ended on a sour note today as a drop in energy stocks eclipsed wage data that supported expectations that the US Federal Reserve might hold off on an interest rate.

Exxon Mobil shares dropped 4.58 percent while Chevron lost 4.89 percent after reporting poor quarterly earnings due to weak oil prices.

The drop in those stocks, as well as additional declines in crude prices amid oversupply concerns, contributed to a 2.6 percent decline in the energy index, its deepest one-day drop since January.

Initially helping share prices, U.S. labor costs in the second quarter recorded their smallest increase in 33 years, with the Employment Cost Index edging up a less-than-expected 0.2 percent.

Earlier in the week, many investors considered positive comments by the Fed about the economy as a signal that a rate rise could come as early as September.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended down 0.31 percent at 17,690.46. The S&P 500 finished 0.22 percent lower at 2,103.92 after opening with a gain. The Nasdaq Composite edged down 0.01 percent to 5,128.28.

European shares edged up 0.1 percent on merger hopes and good earnings and finished July with a 4-percent monthly rise as worries receded about Greece's membership in the euro area.

Britain's top equity index gained ground for the fourth day in a row on Friday, lifted by a rise in the shares of engine maker Rolls Royce and cruise ship company Carnival.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up 0.4 percent at 6,696.28 points. The FTSE is up around 2 percent since the start of 2015 but some 6 percent below a record high of 7,122.74 points set in April.

Rolls Royce rose 5.9 percent, the best-performing FTSE 100 stock in percentage terms, after ValueAct Capital Master Fund took a stake of around 5 percent.

Carnival also climbed 5.2 percent after its rival Royal Caribbean increased its annual profit forecast.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei share average edged up in choppy trade as investors took heart from strong Japanese quarterly corporate earnings, while they took comfort from less volatile Chinese share moves.

The Nikkei share average gained 0.3 percent to 20,585.24 after traversing positive and negative territory. For the week, the index rose 0.2 percent while it added 1.7 percent during July.

The broader Topix rose 0.8 percent on Friday to 1,659.52 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 gained 0.7 percent to 14,961.66.

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Tags:  US  stock market  Europe  Nikkei  





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