U.S. stocks slipped back from record highs on Wednesday on disappointing earnings results and doubts about a U.S. – China trade deal
How are the major benchmarks doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 131 points, or 0.4%, at 27,906 while the S&P 500 index
was off 5 points or 0.2% to 3,116 and the Nasdaq Composite
slipped 2 points, or 0.2%, at 8,547.
On Monday, the Dow
closed 31.33 points, 0.1%, higher at 28,036.22, while the S&P 500 index
edged up 1.57 points to 3,122.03, a gain of 0.05%. The Nasdaq Composite Index
added 9.11 points, or about 0.1%, to end at 8,549.94.
The Dow marked its 12th record close of 2019, the S&P 500 notched its 23rd of the year, while the Nasdaq Composite registered its 17th all-time high in 2019. All three benchmarks booked back-to-back gains on Monday.
What’s driving the market?
Doubts about substantive progress on a partial trade deal with China ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline for the increase of import tariffs began to undermine bullish sentiment again Tuesday with U.S. economic growth slowing.
The economy is clearly facing several challenges, primarily from overseas, but the three rate cuts since July should help sustain growth, New York Fed President John Williams said on Tuesday. The U.S. economy is facing headwinds from slower global growth, uncertainty from trade and muted inflation pressures, Williams said. As a result of these global factors, “growth is starting to slow in the U.S.,” Williams warned.
Wall Street also was digesting a mixed earnings picture. Home Depot
shares dropped nearly 5% after reporting disappointing same-store sales and a poor outlook. The stock’s decline shaved off 80 points from the Dow. Kohl’s
, meanwhile, tanked 18% on weak same-store sales.
However, in U.S. economic data, U.S. home building rose in October and permits for future home construction jumped to a 12-year high. Housing starts increased 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.314 million units last month. Housing starts rose 8.5% on a year-on-year basis in October. Building permits surged 5.0% to a rate of 1.461 million units in October, the highest level since May 2007. The housing market has picked up in recent months after the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates, pushing down mortgage rates.
Which stocks are in focus?
shares were down 5% after beat fiscal third-quarter profit expectations but missed on total and same-store sales, and lowered its full-year outlook. Shares of rival home-improvement company Lowe’s Cos.
fell also ahead of its results on Wednesday.
stock dropped 15% after the retailer cut its full-year guidance.
shares rose after receiving 50 orders for its grounded 737 MAX, a boost for the embattled plane maker as it continues to deal with the fallout from two fatal crashes involving the jet.
Shares of Medtronic PLC
surged after the medical technology company reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that rose above expectations, and raised its full-year profit outlook, but the stock slipped 1.1% in premarket trading to extend a pullback from the previous session’s all-time intraday high.
How are other markets trading?
U.S. Treasury yields struggled for direction on Monday as investors kept a close watch on progress towards a phase one trade agreement between Washington and Beijing, which has kept bond traders on tenterhooks. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note
was little changed around 1.80. from 1.808%.
Gold futures edged lower on Tuesday, set to relinquish much of the gains scored a day earlier, with the haven metal finding little reason to make any significant moves ahead of minutes this week from the Federal Reserve’s October last policy meeting. The price of gold for December delivery
headed $3.40, or 0.2%, lower at $1,468.60 an ounce on Comex early Tuesday.
Oil futures were lower again on Tuesday amid reports that major oil exporter Russia wasn’t likely to advocate for deeper cuts at a December OPEC meeting. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery
was down 73 cents, or 1.3%, at $56.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after a 1.2% slide on Monday.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
representing a basket of its trading rivals, was little changed at 97.000.
In Europe, stocks ended mixed; the Stoxx Europe 600
In Asia overnight Tuesday, stocks traded mixed, with the China CSI 300
gaining 1%, Japan’s Nikkei 225
fell 0.5% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
climbed 1.6%, to add to its sharp gain from the previous session.