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US open: Mixed start to trading as key earnings continue to roll in

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Tuesday 16 Jul 2019

US open: Mixed start to trading as key earnings continue to roll in

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street trading began on a mixed note on Tuesday following some key second-quarter bank earnings.
At 1545 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.10% at 27,385.39, while the S&P 500 was down 0.03% at 3,013.37 and the Nasdaq Composite opened 0.04% weaker at 8,254.51.

The Dow opened just 26.23 points higher albeit at an all-time high on Tuesday after surging to new highs during the previous week after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell hinted that an interest rate cut could be on the horizon.

The main focus for the day was on earnings reports from a number of major US firms, amid somewhat bleak estimates for the earnings season.

Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to have fallen 3% in the second quarter.

JP Morgan Chase shares were up 0.38% in early trade despite beating expectations on the Street with its latest quarterly figures, while Goldman Sachs was up 1.83% after its own strong results, driven by the company's investment banking and trading divisions.

Shares of Wells Fargo was down 0.19% despite second-quarter earnings easily topping expectations.

Elsewhere, Johnson & Johnson shares slipped 1.45% at the bell after its quarterly earnings and revenue beat expectations, while Facebook shares were up 0.22% ahead of the social media giant's testimony regarding its digital currency venture at a Senate banking committee later in the session.

Netflix, United Airlines and Domino's Pizza were still set to post their own second-quarter earnings later on Tuesday.

In terms of data, levels of industrial activity in the US were unchanged last month, despite a sharp jump in auto production, held back in part by a large drop in utilities' output.

According to the Department of Commerce, manufacturing output was up by 0.4% and that of mining by 0.2% but that of utilities shrank by 3.6%.

In other news, US retail sales volumes grew a tad more quickly than expected last month, boosted by sales of automobiles and food and beverage stores.

According to the Department of Commerce, retail sales volumes in the States expanded at a 0.4% month-on-month pace to reach $519.43bn, following an identically-sized increase during the previous month.

Elsewhere, sentiment among US housebuilders improved a touch in July, according to data released on Tuesday.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index ticked up to 65 from 64 in June, beating expectations for an unchanged reading.

The index measuring current sales conditions rose one point to 72, while the component gauging expectations in the next six months edged up one point to 71 and the index for buyer traffic increased one point to 48.

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