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US close: Stocks finish mixed as news rolls in from Jackson Hole

By Josh White

Date: Friday 23 Aug 2019

US close: Stocks finish mixed as news rolls in from Jackson Hole

(Sharecast News) - Trading finished as it started on Thursday - on a mixed note - as investors continued to digest updates from the Federal Reserve\'s central banking symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.19% at 26,252.24, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.05% to 2,922.95 and the Nasdaq 100 was 0.33% weaker at 7,707.43.

At the open, the Dow had added 72.11 points, following Wednesday\'s gains as investors mulled over minutes from the Federal Reserve\'s latest policy meeting, released overnight.

Those revealed the central bank had no \"pre-set course\" for cutting rates.

In the minutes, the Fed indicated that policymakers considered the move to be more of a \"mid-cycle adjustment\" - a term Fed chair Jerome Powell used shortly before a major stock market sell-off after the central bank\'s meeting at the end of July.

The widely watched 2-year and 10-year US Treasury yield curve flattened and then inverted again after the release of the minutes.

As far as Thursday was concerned, Fed delivered remarks throughout the session following a period of limited public appearances.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Kansas City Fed chief Esther George argued against further interest rate cuts so long as the American economy was growing at a pace near rate-setters\' forecast, pointing out the costs associated with unwarranted policy easing.

George said she did not see a worsening outlook, so she was not ready to vote for further stimulus.

She was one of two policymakers who voted against a rate cut at the July meeting.

Later in the afternoon, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker told CNBC that while he had reluctantly backed the central bank\'s July rate cut, he saw no need for additional stimulus.

Eyes were now turning to Friday, when Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak at the Jackson Hole Economy Policy Symposium.

Market watchers were expecting Powell to push against expectations for further rate cuts through to the end of 2020.

On the data front, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits for the first time dropped by more than expected last week, according to data released by the Department of Labor on Thursday.

Initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 from the previous week\'s revised level to 209,000, compared to expectations for a decline to 216,000.

The previous week\'s level was revised up by 1,000.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average came in at 214,500, up 500 from the previous week\'s average, which was revised up by 250.

Elsewhere, IHS Markit\'s Flash US PMI report revealed that manufacturing PMI dropped below the 50 mark to 49.9 for the first time in almost a decade.

The figure, well short of the reading of 50.5 expected on the Street, indicated that business activity in US manufacturing sector had swung into contraction territory.

Services PMI during the same period slumped to 50.9 from 53 in July, and short of analysts\' estimates of 52.8.

\"August\'s survey data provides a clear signal that economic growth has continued to soften in the third quarter,\" said Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit.

\"The PMIs for manufacturing and services remain much weaker than at the beginning of 2019 and collectively point to annualized GDP growth of around 1.5%.\"

The Kansas City Fed Manufacturing survey for August was released late in the afternoon, with regional factory activity seeing its largest monthly fall in more than three years.

Its composite index - an average of production, new orders, employment, supplier deliveries and raw materials inventory indices - came in at -6 for the month, compared to -1 in July and the lowest level since August 2016.

The manufacturing index was at -2, rising from -6 last month.

\"Over 55% of the firms expected negative impacts from the latest round of US tariffs on Chinese goods,\" the Kansas City Fed said in its statement.

\"However, even though many firms expected trade tensions to persist, expectations for future shipments and exports expanded slightly.\"

In corporate news, Spam producer Hormel Foods jumped 4.78% following its quarterly profit beat and reaffirmed outlook, while high-end department store Nordstrom shares rocketed 15.86% after topping earnings and revenue expectations with its own quarterly figures.

Dow Jones - Risers

Boeing Co. (BA) $354.41 4.24%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $108.72 1.03%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $202.42 0.87%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $54.49 0.72%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $83.31 0.69%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $35.08 0.60%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $147.81 0.52%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $127.96 0.49%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $56.78 0.34%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $221.02 0.28%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $232.94 -3.08%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $48.18 -1.21%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $46.78 -0.78%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $137.78 -0.73%
McDonald\'s Corp. (MCD) $219.44 -0.55%
Visa Inc. (V) $180.09 -0.47%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $86.78 -0.22%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $69.57 -0.22%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $131.27 -0.20%
American Express Co. (AXP) $122.27 -0.19%

S&P 500 - Risers

Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) $30.75 15.86%
Keysight Technologies Inc. (KEYS) $100.35 12.58%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $123.49 7.53%
Foot Locker Inc. (FL) $41.93 5.46%
Synopsys Inc. (SNPS) $139.00 5.43%
Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL) $42.95 4.83%
Gap Inc. (GPS) $17.75 4.66%
Macerich Co (MAC) $28.86 4.30%
Boeing Co. (BA) $354.41 4.24%
Target Corp. (TGT) $106.31 3.22%

S&P 500 - Fallers

L Brands Inc (LB) $19.33 -4.92%
Mattel Inc. (MAT) $10.14 -4.52%
Albemarle Corp. (ALB) $63.22 -4.08%
CIGNA Corp. (CI) $155.73 -4.04%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $232.94 -3.08%
Humana Inc. (HUM) $288.82 -3.08%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) $110.13 -3.02%
Centene Corp. (CNC) $45.55 -2.94%
Anthem Inc (ANTM) $261.05 -2.55%
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) $107.80 -2.43%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $123.49 7.53%
Synopsys Inc. (SNPS) $139.00 5.43%
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (ULTA) $334.87 2.06%
Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) $107.40 1.61%
Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) $279.92 1.54%
Align Technology Inc. (ALGN) $178.97 1.46%
Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) $25.62 1.39%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $44.78 1.38%
Workday, Inc. (WDAY) $193.37 1.28%
CSX Corp. (CSX) $66.14 1.22%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

JD.com, Inc. (JD) $29.49 -4.07%
Ctrip.Com International Ltd. Ads (CTRP) $33.32 -3.98%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) $110.13 -3.02%
NetEase Inc. Ads (NTES) $247.11 -2.47%
Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $105.45 -2.27%
Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $619.40 -1.66%
Xilinx Inc. (XLNX) $104.43 -1.56%
Monster Beverage Corp (MNST) $57.19 -1.45%
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) $132.39 -1.36%
Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $287.69 -1.32%

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