December 13, 2017
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wall Street pares gains, Fed eyed

Wall Street pared early gains and was little changed, weighed down by quarterly results of Dow components 3M and Procter & Gamble.

3M and Procter & Gamble were down about 1 percent, after reporting a fall in sales.

US stocks had opened slightly higher, with the Dow rising above the 18,000 mark, as oil prices rose.

Investors are also keeping a sharp eye on the outcome of a two-day meeting of the US Federal Reserve.

Fed officials have repeatedly said a hike in June is on the cards.

While job growth has continues to gain strength, inflation stubbornly remains below the Fed's 2 percent target.

First-quarter earnings from S&P 500 components are expected to have fallen 7.3 percent from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Of the 135 companies that have reported, 59 percent reported revenue above analyst expectations, just short of the average 60 percent since 2002.

With the S&P 500 up in eight of the past 10 weeks and nearing the record high set almost a year ago, traders are struggling to find reasons to push it even higher as underwhelming earnings and the specter of higher interest rates hover over markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 24.93 points, or 0.14 percent, at 17,952.31, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 2,087.79 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 16.35 points, or 0.33 percent, at 4,879.44.

Six of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the energy and materials index's 0.7 percent rise leading the advancers.

Oil prices were up about 2 percent due to a weaker dollar and hopes for an easing of the global oil glut.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,941 to 872. On the Nasdaq, 1,323 issues rose and 1,247 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 15 new 52-week highs and 1 new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 28 new highs and 18 new lows.

In Europe, shares ended slightly higher today, supported by firmer oil prices and encouraging company results, with pulp and paper maker UPM and oil major BP rallying on better-than-expected figures.

UPM surged 9 percent, the second biggest gain in the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, after reporting a 34-percent rise in adjusted operating profit in the first quarter.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which closed 0.6 percent lower on Monday after hitting a three-month high in the previous week, ended 0.2 percent higher.

The European oil and gas index rose 1.1 percent after oil advanced on a weaker dollar and a flood of new cash into the market, although some analysts warned of increased output from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Shares in BP rose 4.3 percent. The company's profit dropped 80 percent in the first quarter but beat analysts' expectations. BP also held its dividend and said it could cut capital spending further.

Banks rose 2.5 percent, making them the top sectoral gainer. Standard Chartered soared 9.8 percent after it posted stronger-than-expected first quarter results and said restructuring costs were in line with its plans.

Meanwhile, Japanese stocks fell as the yen retreated from a three-week low against the US dollar, pruning the profit outlook for major exporters.

The Nikkei share average slipped 0.5 percent to end the day at 17,353.28.

Uncertainty over whether the Bank of Japan will deliver on expectations of further stimulus at its April 27-28 policy meeting pulled the yen back from a three-week low and dimmed the profit outlook for Japanese exporters.

The broader Topix slid 0.7 percent to 1,391.69 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.7 percent to 12,615.04.

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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia