December 15, 2017
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tech leads Nasdaq, S&P 500; Disney sparks media selloff

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose today following three days of losses as tech shares advanced, while the blue-chip Dow index ticked lower, weighed by Disney's largest daily drop in almost seven years.

Gains in major tech companies Google and Facebook led the advance on the Nasdaq. Apple added 0.7 percent to $115.40, up for just the second session in the last 12. The S&P 500 tech sector gained 1 percent, its best daily performance in three weeks.

Earnings in the technology sector of the S&P 500 are expected to have grown 5.3 percent in the second quarter, up from a 2.1 percent increase expected back on July 1, according to the most recent Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

The market's advance is, however, "a modest bounce back after discernable pressure over the last trading sessions," Morganlander said. He cited deceleration in the Chinese economy as a continuing headwind for stocks, specifically commodities-related sectors.

Disney's shares fell to $110.53, a 9.2 percent drop and the largest for any day since Dec. 1, 2008, after it cut its profit forecast for its cable networks unit, spooking the entire industry.

Shares of Comcast fell 4.7 percent, Discovery Communications lost 12.1 percent and Twenty-First Century Fox fell 7 percent. Disney's shares are still up 17.3 percent year to date, compared with a gain of 2 percent on the S&P 500.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 10.22 points, or 0.06 percent, to 17,540.47; the S&P 500 gained 6.52 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,099.84; and the Nasdaq Composite added 34.40 points, or 0.67 percent, to 5,139.95.

Stocks gained more than 1.0 percent in Europe, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closing up 1.31 percent at 1,601.66. MSCI's all-country world stock index rose 0.24 percent.

Societe Generale shares jumped 7.9 percent after the French bank became the latest major European company to post forecast-beating earnings. Regional automakers, which fell in late July on concerns about a slowing China, rallied.The STOXX Europe index of 15 companies rose 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei share average posted modest gains as stronger earnings buoyed construction firms and real estate developers, but Toyota Motor and other cyclical shares buckled under concerns about slower global growth.

Construction firms were helped by earnings from Kajima Corp , which rose more than 6 percent to a nine-year high after reporting April-June operating profit rose 76 percent.

The benchmark Nikkei average gained 0.5 percent to 20,614.06, after advancing as much as 1 percent to hit its a two-week high of 20,715.48.

The broader Topix added 0.4 percent to 1,665.85, with turnover rising above 3 trillion yen ($24.12 billion), the highest level in almost a month. But Nikkei heavyweight Fast Retailing shed 4.7 percent after the Uniqlo clothing chain operator said its domestic store sales fell in July for the second straight month.

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