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US close: Markets finish lower amid Brexit progress, slew of data

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 17 Oct 2019

US close: Markets finish lower amid Brexit progress, slew of data

(Sharecast News) - US stocks finished in the red on Wednesday, as investors kept watch on Brexit negotiations in Europe, and digested some lacklustre retail figures and more earnings from some of the nation's biggest firms.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session down 0.08% at 27,001.98, the S&P 500 was off 0.2% at 2,989.69, and the Nasdaq 100 lost 0.29% to 7,920.21.

At the open, the Dow was 19.46 points lower after closing higher in the previous session, amid earnings from some of America's major banks.

Stocks continued to slip through the session as market participants closely monitored the latest Brexit developments, even as officials and diplomats said that differences over the terms of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union had narrowed significantly.

The news boosted hopes that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be able to come to an agreement with EU heads at a key summit in Brussels on Thursday, though by the end of the US session little progress had been seen.

In US-Sino trade news, China's Foreign Ministry said it would take countermeasures against the US in response to a bill that was said to favour Hong Kong protesters.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that there were questions regarding how much more US agricultural products China actually planned on buying and for how long.

On a more upbeat note, president Donald Trump tweeted that a US-China trade deal was in the works but that it would likely not be signed until he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met at the APEC conference in Chile.

Meanwhile, fresh data published on Wednesday revealed that mortgage interest rates rose to 3.92% from 3.90% last week, leading to a slowdown in the growth of applications for loans to purchase a home.

The total volume of mortgage applications was basically flat - rising just 0.5% for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Elsewhere, Americans unexpectedly parked their urge to buy last month, splashing out less on both automobiles and at gasoline stations.

According to the Department of Commerce, in seasonally adjusted terms, the volume of US retail sales shrank at a month-on-month pace of 0.3% in September to reach $525.56bn.

The weak data added to recent concerns over the potential for a recession.

US business inventories were unexpectedly flat in August as stocks came in weaker than initially thought, indicating that inventory investment could remain a drag on the economy during the third quarter, according to the Commerce Department.

The unchanged reading in business inventories followed a 0.3% gain in July.

Lastly, US homebuilders were buoyed by lower mortgage rates in October, as the more favourable rates brought buyers back to the table and boosted sales.

Builder confidence in the single-family market jumped three points in October to 71, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index - its highest level since February 2018.

"The housing rebound that began in the spring continues, supported by low mortgage rates, solid job growth and a reduction in new home inventory," said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde.

In corporate news, Bank of America shares were up 1.48% after the firm beat analyst forecasts for its third-quarter earnings, helped by a strong showing from its wealth management arm.

US Bancorp closed 1.51% firmer after reporting a third-quarter revenue increase.

In after-hours action, IBM was down 5.18%, Netflix surged 9.86% and CSX was 3.84% firmer in late electronic trading, after the trio published their quarterly earnings following the closing bell.

Dow Jones - Risers

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $135.26 1.75%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $46.79 0.93%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $130.86 0.85%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $208.30 0.52%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $207.42 0.46%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $136.71 0.41%
Boeing Co. (BA) $372.43 0.40%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $117.53 0.28%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $54.66 0.27%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $235.98 0.12%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $68.23 -1.71%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $115.11 -1.03%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $140.41 -0.82%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $84.45 -0.69%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $236.99 -0.67%
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $130.19 -0.64%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $142.60 -0.52%
Visa Inc. (V) $177.87 -0.49%
3M Co. (MMM) $162.18 -0.49%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $36.34 -0.44%

S&P 500 - Risers

McKesson Corp. (MCK) $144.84 4.83%
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $115.65 3.63%
Amerisource Bergen Corp. (ABC) $86.04 3.43%
PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) $38.23 2.47%
Cardinal Health Inc. (CAH) $49.05 2.44%
Lennar Corp. Class A (LEN) $61.17 2.41%
United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL) $89.70 2.07%
D. R. Horton Inc. (DHI) $53.66 1.98%
Advance Auto Parts (AAP) $162.74 1.89%
Motorola Solutions Inc (MSI) $172.76 1.80%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $99.51 -5.06%
Dxc Technology Company (DXC) $27.87 -3.90%
Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $146.97 -3.78%
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $145.38 -3.08%
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $234.76 -3.01%
Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) $20.30 -2.96%
Progressive Corp. (PGR) $72.87 -2.80%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $45.16 -2.79%
Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) $31.95 -2.62%
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $51.56 -2.55%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $115.65 3.63%
NetEase Inc. Ads (NTES) $294.77 2.96%
Liberty Global plc Series A (LBTYA) $26.18 1.83%
Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) $438.10 1.20%
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) $96.22 1.12%
Align Technology Inc. (ALGN) $211.56 1.10%
Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $34.75 1.08%
Liberty Global plc Series C (LBTYK) $24.85 1.02%
Baidu Inc. (BIDU) $108.28 1.01%
O'Reilly Automotive Inc. (ORLY) $407.75 0.99%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Workday, Inc. (WDAY) $160.46 -11.33%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $99.51 -5.06%
Asml Holdings N.V. (ASML) $254.47 -4.89%
Mercadolibre Inc. (MELI) $548.98 -3.10%
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $145.38 -3.08%
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $234.76 -3.01%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $45.16 -2.79%
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $51.56 -2.55%
Xilinx Inc. (XLNX) $94.63 -2.41%
Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $272.70 -2.39%

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