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US close: Stocks drop as second quarter earnings continue to roll in

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Wednesday 17 Jul 2019

US close: Stocks drop as second quarter earnings continue to roll in

(Sharecast News) - US stocks closed lower on Tuesday following some key second-quarter bank earnings.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.09% at 27,335.63, while the S&P 500 was down 0.34% at 3,004.04 and the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.43% weaker at 8,222.80.

The Dow closed 23.53 points lower after seeing out the session at an all-time high on Monday after Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell hinted that an interest rate cut could be on the horizon last week.

The day's main focus 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 closed 1.10% higher after beating expectations on the Street with its latest quarterly figures, while Goldman Sachs saw out the session 1.87% firmer after its own strong results, driven by the company's investment banking and trading divisions.

Shares of Wells Fargo was down 2.98% despite second-quarter earnings easily topping expectations.

Elsewhere, Johnson & Johnson shares slipped 1.63% throughout the session after its quarterly earnings and revenue beat expectations, while Facebook shares dipped 0.034% following the social media giant's testimony regarding its digital currency venture at a Senate banking committee later in the session.

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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