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US close: Markets finish weaker on Fed direction, Covid vaccine

By Josh White

Date: Friday 18 Sep 2020

US close: Markets finish weaker on Fed direction, Covid vaccine

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks closed lower on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve vowed to keep interest rates at their current level until 2023, as market participants mulled over some conflicting statements around the roll-out of a potential coronavirus vaccine.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.47% at 27,901.98, while the S&P 500 lost 0.84% to 3,357.01, and the Nasdaq Composite was off 1.27% at 10,910.28.

The Dow Jones closed 130.4 points lower on Thursday, reversing gains recorded in the previous session.

On Wednesday evening, the Federal Open Markets Committee said the US overnight rate could remain zero-bound for the next three years as part of an effort to prompt inflation.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also said the Fed would maintain easy monetary policy until "maximum employment" can be achieved.

Also late on Wednesday, Donald Trump said the US may be capable of distributing a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as October, contradicting comments made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said earlier in the day that vaccinations would be in limited quantities and not widely distributed for another six to nine months.

Stimulus talks were also in focus after Trump indicated he could potentially see himself supporting a larger package.

As far as Thursday was concerned, the day's primary focus was this week's batch of jobless claims figures from the Department of Labor, which revealed US unemployment claims only dipped a little over the preceding week.

According to the Department of Labor, initial jobless claims slipped by 33,000 over the week ending on 12 September to reach 860,000, ahead of consensus forecasts for 850,000.

Secondary claims, on the other hand, dropped by 916,000 to approximately 12.63m, against consensus expectations for 13.0m.

Still on the macro front, the US housing market cooled a bit last month but economists were quick to dismiss the drop, pointing to the impact of hurricanes on activity in the South and strength in permits for the construction of new single-family homes.

According to the Department of Commerce, in seasonally adjusted terms, housing starts fell at a month-on-month pace of 5.1% to reach an annualised rate of 1.416m, missing forecasts for 1.45m.

Building permits dipped by 0.9% on the month to 1.48m but those for single-family homes increased by 6.0% to 1.04m.

Elsewhere, manufacturing sector conditions in the US mid-Atlantic region continued to firm in September as the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's closely-followed factory sector index dipped from a reading of 17.2 in July to 15.0 for August.

No major earnings were slated for release on Thursday.

Dow Jones - Risers

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $37.21 2.56%
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $153.87 1.83%
3M Co. (MMM) $172.38 1.69%
International Business Machines Corporation (CDI) (IBM) $124.92 0.56%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $60.59 0.36%
Walmart Inc. (WMT) $136.69 0.32%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $78.79 0.29%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $36.82 0.11%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $85.64 0.08%
Visa Inc. (V) $205.27 0.07%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $194.83 -2.92%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $116.36 -1.88%
Apple Inc. (AAPL) $110.34 -1.60%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $130.22 -1.42%
American Express Co. (AXP) $104.66 -1.25%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $98.56 -1.14%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $202.91 -1.04%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $222.58 -0.99%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $147.17 -0.83%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $279.96 -0.59%

S&P 500 - Risers

Mosaic Company (MOS) $19.26 6.41%
MetLife Inc. (MET) $39.32 4.49%
General Electric Co. (GE) $7.05 4.44%
Hologic Inc. (HOLX) $63.23 4.05%
Jack Henry & Associates Inc. (JKHY) $161.76 3.91%
CF Industries Holdings Inc. (CF) $34.64 3.87%
LyondellBasell Industries (LYB) $79.90 3.85%
Ford Motor Co. (F) $7.28 3.70%
Mattel Inc. (MAT) $11.86 3.67%
Westrock Company (WRK) $37.64 3.55%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $298.02 -7.58%
American Tower Corp (Reit) (AMT) $250.73 -4.77%
NetApp Inc. (NTAP) $43.18 -4.28%
Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) $40.40 -4.04%
Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $32.04 -3.61%
American International Group Inc. (AIG) $28.70 -3.59%
eBay Inc. (EBAY) $48.64 -3.53%
Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) $68.44 -3.50%
Welltower Inc (WELL) $57.78 -3.49%
Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (HST) $11.65 -3.40%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Hologic Inc. (HOLX) $63.23 4.05%
Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) $78.36 3.60%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $37.21 2.56%
Hasbro Inc (HAS) $80.41 2.42%
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $134.44 2.21%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $50.98 1.53%
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) $159.45 1.52%
Fiserv Inc. (FISV) $103.80 1.51%
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $271.46 1.46%
Asml Holdings N.V. (ASML) $366.74 1.20%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $298.02 -7.58%
Tesla Inc (TSLA) $423.43 -4.15%
Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $32.04 -3.61%
eBay Inc. (EBAY) $48.64 -3.53%
Facebook Inc. (FB) $254.82 -3.30%
Marriott International - Class A (MAR) $104.41 -3.11%
Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $175.79 -2.83%
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $470.20 -2.82%
Liberty Global plc Series A (LBTYA) $21.79 -2.74%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $45.58 -2.63%


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