Market Wrap: S&P 500 Erases 2015 Loss as Tech Stocks Surge

Financial Markets Wall StreetNEW YORK – A tech share rally drove U.S. stocks up sharply for a second day Friday as earnings from companies including Microsoft beat analyst expectations, while health care shares rebounded from recent losses.

The gains left the S&P 500 in positive territory for the year and above its 200-day moving average for the first time since Aug. 19.

An unexpected rate cut in China added to the positive tone for U.S. stocks, which also registered gains for the week.

Microsoft (MSFT) shares rose 10.1 percent to $52.87, their highest in 15 years, after adjusted revenue beat expectations for the ninth quarter in a row.

Microsoft gave the biggest boost to the three indexes, accounting for nearly a fifth of the Dow’s gain and leading a strong rally in technology stocks. The S&P technology sector jumped 3 percent, leading gains among major sectors.

Alphabet, Google’s new holding company, and Amazon soared to record intraday highs after results beat expectations. Alphabet (GOOGL) ended up 5.6 percent at $719.33, while Amazon (AMZN) rose 6.2 percent to $599.03.

Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) also jumped, with Facebook rising above $100 for the first time.

“It’s being driven by the good earnings” from a number of companies, said Giri Cherukuri, head trader at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois. That may change the view on earnings “as people sit back and evaluate.”

“Companies with big international exposure have a big drag due to forex, but looking past that, companies are doing well.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 157.54 points, or 0.9 percent, to 17,646.7, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) gained 22.64 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,075.15 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 111.81 points, or 2.3 percent, to 5,031.86.

Big Weekly Gains

For the week, the Dow rose 2.5 percent, the S&P 500 gained 2.1 percent and the Nasdaq jumped 3 percent.

The S&P 500 is now up 0.8 percent for the year so far and up 7.1 percent for October.

Analyst sentiment on overall third-quarter earnings has improved following the string of strong results from blue chips.

S&P 500 earnings for the period are now expected to have declined a more modest 2.8 percent, compared with a decline of 4.9 percent forecast at the start of the reporting season, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Among other gainers, Procter & Gamble (PG) rose 2.9 percent to $77.03 after its profit beat estimates.

On the Downside

Not all of the day’s earnings news was upbeat, though.

Shares of Whirlpool (WHR) dropped 8.7 percent to $145.90 after executives said currency would subtract $2.5 billion from the appliance-maker’s annual revenue. Whirlpool lowered its 2015 expectations even as it posted higher-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

Overseas, China’s central bank cut interest rates for the sixth time since November in another attempt to jumpstart a slowing economy.

NYSE advancers outnumbered decliners 1,806 to 1,252, for a 1.44-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,872 issues rose and 956 fell, for a 1.96-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 54 new 52-week highs and 14 lows; the Nasdaq recorded 133 new highs and 65 lows.

About 7.6 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, above the 7.3 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters (TRI) data.

What to watch Monday:

  • The Commerce Department releases new home sales for September at 10 a.m. Eastern time
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas releases its survey of manufacturing conditions in Texas for October at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Earnings Season
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:

  • Cheesecake Factory (CAKE)
  • Hartford Financial Services (HIG)
  • Xerox (XRX)

Market Wrap: Dow, S&P 500 Slip as Apple, Energy Weigh

Financial Markets Wall StreetNEW YORK — The Dow and the S&P 500 edged lower Monday as energy shares dropped with oil prices and Apple retreated a day before its quarterly results.

Investors were cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, which begins Tuesday. The market is looking for clues on the outlook for when the Fed may begin raising interest rates.

Apple (AAPL) shares fell 3.2 percent to $115.28, making it the biggest drag on all three major indexes, while a weak outlook from one of its suppliers, Dialog Semiconductor, led a fall in other semiconductors. An index of semiconductors was down 2 percent after three days of gains.

With Apple, it’s more about their forecast and China news and any upgrades they may want to announce.

The iPhone-maker reports quarterly results after the market closes Tuesday.

“With Apple, it’s more about their forecast and China news and any upgrades they may want to announce,” said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The S&P energy sector fell 2.5 percent, leading sector declines for the S&P 500. Crude oil prices slipped as global oversupply pushed fuel storage sites close to capacity. Exxon (XOM) fell 2.1 percent to $81.22, while Chevron (CVX) was down 2.7 percent to $88.77.

U.S. stocks have mostly gained in October after a weak third quarter. The S&P 500 is up 7.9 percent for the month so far.

“It’s been a pretty big move up, so we’re seeing a little bit of consolidation today,” Meckler said.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 23.65 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,623.05, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 3.97 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,071.18 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 2.84 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,034.70.

Among the top Nasdaq gainers, shares of Ctrip.com (CTRP) rose 22.1 percent to $90.78 after the online travel firm said it would merge with Qunar Cayman Islands. Qunar (QUNR) jumped 7.9 percent to $42.65.

Strong quarterly results from tech companies have helped improve expectations for overall U.S. third-quarter earnings.

S&P 500 earnings are estimated to have declined a more modest 2.8 percent in the quarter, compared with 4.2 percent forecast at the start of the month, according to Thomson Reuters (TRI) data.

Housing Slips

Data showed new home sales fell 11.5 percent in September, suggesting a softening of the housing market. An index of housing shares was down 0.4 percent.

Among other gainers, Pep Boys (PBY) jumped 23.4 percent to $14.99 after it agreed to be acquired by Bridgestone for $15 a share.

Piedmont Natural Gas (PDM) rose 36.9 percent to $57.82 after it agreed to be bought by Duke Energy. Duke Energy (DUK) fell 2.4 percent.

NYSE declining issues outnumbered advancers 1,916 to 1,153, for a 1.66-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,749 issues fell and 1,077 advanced, for a 1.62-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 36 new 52-week highs and 8 lows; the Nasdaq recorded 111 new highs and 73 lows.

About 6.1 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 7.3 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

What to watch Tuedsay:

  • The Commerce Department releases durable goods for September at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • Standard & Poor’s releases S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices for August at 9 a.m.
  • The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for October at 10 a.m.

Earnings Season
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:

  • Alibaba Group (BABA)
  • Apple (AAPL)
  • Comcast (CMCSA)
  • Dupont (DD)
  • Ford Motor Co. (F)
  • Gilead Sciences (GILD)
  • Merck & Co. (MRK)
  • Pfizer (PFE)
  • Reynolds American (RAI)
  • Twitter (TWTR)
  • United Parcel Service (UPS)

Market Wrap: Stocks Slip on Rate Uncertainty, Earnings

Financial Markets Wall StreetNEW YORK — U.S. stocks slipped Tuesday on uncertainty over the U.S. rate outlook and disappointing results from Ford and other companies.

Upbeat results from Apple after hours, however, could give the market a boost Wednesday.

Shares of Apple (AAPL), the biggest company by market capitalization, rose 2.8 percent to $116.89 after it reported higher-than-expected earnings and revenue. Apple’s stock ended the regular session down 0.6 percent at $114.55.

Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures also edged up after Apple’s results.

“Both earnings and revenues were above expectations, which I think was well embraced based on the fact that a lot of companies have been struggling on the top line,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Co., which owns Apple shares.

Also after the bell, shares of Twitter (TWTR) dropped 11 percent to $27.89 after it reported results. Twitter’s stock ended the regular session up 1.5 percent at $31.34.

During the regular session, Ford (F) dropped 5 percent to $14.89 after quarterly results missed expectations, while JetBlue Airways (JBLU) fell 3.2 percent to $25.36 after it said it will make less money per mile in October than it did a year ago.

Shares of other airlines also fell, and the Dow Jones transportation average dropped 2.6 percent.
The Federal Reserve began its two-day policy meeting Tuesday. While expectations for a rate hike this week are slim, investors are looking for clues in its policy statement Wednesday as to when the Fed will begin to raise interest rates.

That’s going to be parsed every way possible,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

Casting more doubts on whether the Fed will raise rates this year, data showed U.S. non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, slipped last month after a downwardly revised decline in August.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 41.62 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,581.43, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 5.29 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,065.89 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 4.56 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,030.15.

Movers and Shakers

Alibaba (BABA) rose 4 percent to $79.44 after the e-commerce giant reported better-than-expected revenue. After the bell, shares of Twitter dropped after it reported results. Twitter (TWTR) stock ended the regular session up 1.5 percent.

Declines in crude oil weighed further on energy shares, and the S&P energy index, down 1.2 percent, led sector declines for the S&P 500.

Health care was only one of two S&P 500 sectors to end in positive territory for the day. The index was up 1.7 percent after better-than-expected earnings from top drugmakers Pfizer and Merck. Pfizer (PFE) was up 2.4 percent at $34.99 and Merck (MRK) was up 1.1 percent at $53.47.

Rite Aid (RAD) shares jumped 42.6 percent to $8.67. Sources said Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) is nearing a deal to buy the rival drugstore chain.

Among other gainers, shares of hotel operators rose after The Wall Street Journal reported at least three Chinese firms were looking to bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Starwood (HOT) shares were up 9.1 percent at $74.81 while shares of Marriott International (MAR) were up 1.8 percent at $77.99.

NYSE declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 2,293 to 797, for a 2.88-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 2,003 issues fell and 820 advanced, for a 2.44-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 13 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 122 new lows.

Federal Reserve policymakers meet to set interest rates and release a statement at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

Earnings Season:
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:

  • Anthem (ANTM)
  • Amgen (AMGN)
  • General Dynamics (GD)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Mondelez International (MDLZ)
  • Northrup Grumman (NOC)
  • Occidental Petroleum (OXY)
  • PayPal (PYPL)
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
  • Williams Cos. (WMB)

Market Wrap: Stocks Climb as Fed Puts Dec. Rate Hike in Play

Financial Markets Wall StreetNEW YORK — U.S. stocks ended sharply higher Wednesday after a volatile session as the Federal Reserve gave a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy by signaling a December interest rate hike was still on the table.

S&P financials, which benefit from higher borrowing rates, shot up following the Fed statement and led sector gains. The financial index ended up 2.4 percent, its biggest percentage gain in seven weeks. The KBW Nasdaq regional bank index jumped 4.1 percent.

S&P utilities, which tend to do worse when interest rates are rising, fell 1.1 percent and led S&P sector declines.

The Fed left rates unchanged, as expected, and, in a direct reference to its next meeting, put a December rate hike firmly in play. It also downplayed global economic headwinds in its statement.

Stocks initially sold off following the statement, with the S&P 500 erasing close to a 1 percent gain, but quickly rebounded to end at the day’s highs as investors saw the statement as a sign the Fed has confidence the U.S. economy can sustain a rate hike.

“Obviously the first move [in stocks] is down, which is conventional wisdom. However, I do like the idea of the Fed having more confidence in the economy, less concerned about the global backdrop and willing to ring the bell on the long-term health of the U.S. economy with a rate hike,” said Michael Marrale, head of research, sales and trading at ITG in New York.

The Fed hasn’t raised rates in nearly a decade.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 198.09 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,779.52, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) gained 24.46 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,090.35, its highest in more than two months.

The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 65.55 points, or 1.3 percent, to 5,095.69, while the Nasdaq 100 index of biggest non-financial names rose 0.9 percent to 4,678.57, just shy of a 15-year high.

Movers and Shakers

A 4.1 percent gain in Apple (AAPL) shares to $119.27 also helped support indexes a day after stronger-than-expected results.

The company sold 48 million iPhones in the latest quarter and posted a near doubling of revenue from China, allaying concerns about its business in the world’s second-largest economy.

On the flip side, Twitter (TWTR) shares fell 1.5 percent to $30.87 while Akamai Technologies (AKAM) dropped 16.7 percent to $62.91, Both reported disappointing results late Tuesday.

The S&P energy sector snapped a three-day losing streak, ending up 2.2 percent, after a sharp rally in crude oil prices .

After the bell, shares of GoPro (GPRO) dropped 15.2 percent to $25.62 following its results.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,428 to 645, for a 3.76-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 2,252 issues rose and 605 fell for a 3.72-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 35 new 52-week highs and six new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 155 new highs and 82 new lows.

About 8.5 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, well above the 7.1 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters (TRI) data.

What to watch Thursday:

  • At 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, the Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, and the Commerce Department releases third-quarter gross domestic product.
  • At 10 a.m., Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates, and the National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales index for September.

Earnings Season
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:

  • Aetna (AET)
  • Altria Group (MO)
  • ConocoPhillips (COP)
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT)
  • Johnson Controls (JCI)
  • LinkedIn (LNKD)
  • MasterCard (MA)
  • Starbucks (SBUX)
  • Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA)
  • Time Warner Cable (TWC)

Market Wrap: Stocks Slip as Investors Digest Fed, Earnings

Financial Markets Wall StreetNEW YORK — U.S. stocks ended slightly lower Thursday as the market digested the potential for an interest rate hike in December and some disappointing tech earnings reports.

The Federal Reserve, which kept rates unchanged at its policy meeting that ended Wednesday, downplayed concerns about global growth and indicated confidence in the U.S. job market’s recovery.

Stocks had jumped Wednesday following the Fed statement and, after a strong run from the end of September, were due for a “reprieve,” said Jason Ware, chief investment officer at Albion Financial, in Salt Lake City.

I would just say that we had a big move and this is a bit of a cooling pause the next day.

“I would just say that we had a big move and this is a bit of a cooling pause the next day,” Ware said.

The three indexes are on track for their best month in four years.

S&P utilities, which tend to do worse when interest rates are rising, were the worst-performing S&P sector, off 0.6 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 23.72 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,755.8, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost less than a point to 2,089.41 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 21.42 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,074.27.

The three indexes recovered much of the day’s losses late in the session.

Stocks were “treading water” after the Fed statement, said John Mousseau, executive vice president at Cumberland Advisors in Sarasota, Florida.

“Low interest rates have been the anchor for stock prices for a while,” Mousseau said.

Odds of a December hike increased to 50 percent from 43 percent Wednesday, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch program.

The S&P health care sector rose 0.4 percent, making it the top-performing sector, as Allergan’s (AGN) shares shot up 6 percent to $304.38. The Botox-maker confirmed it was in buyout talks with Pfizer. Pfizer (PFE) dropped 1.9 percent.

Sixty percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results so far. Analysts now expect overall third-quarter profit to decline a modest 1.7 percent, compared with the 4.2 percent drop forecast on Oct. 1, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Movers and Shakers

NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) sank 19.7 percent to $73 after its bleak forecast. The slide took down other chipmakers, with the broader semiconductor index down 3 percent.

F5 Networks (FFIV) shares fell 9.3 percent to $110.08 after a disappointing outlook, making it the biggest percentage loser in the S&P 500 technology index.

GoPro (GPRO) slumped 15.2 percent to $25.62 after the action camera maker posted disappointing results.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,852 to 1,185, for a 1.56-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,820 issues fell and 959 advanced for a 1.90-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and 6 lows; the Nasdaq recorded 102 new highs and 76 new lows.

About 7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, about even with the 7.1 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters (TRI) data.

Market Wrap: Stocks Climb, Led by Energy, Health Care

Financial Markets Wall Street Hewlett Packard EnterpriseNEW YORK — U.S. stocks added to their recent run with gains across all sectors on Monday, led by increases in the beaten-down energy group and the acquisition-driven health care industry.

The gains on the first trading day of the month followed the best monthly performance of the major indexes in four years in October. The Nasdaq 100 closed Monday at its highest level in more than 15 years.

Data on Monday showed U.S. manufacturing activity in October sank to a 2½-year low, but a rise in new orders offered encouragement. Elsewhere, factory activity in Germany beat economist estimates, and manufacturing in Central and Eastern Europe kept up a robust pace in October.

“The fact that we have got sturdy numbers from outside the U.S. accompanied by a relatively decent … [U.S. manufacturing] report, I think that cocktail was supportive of risk assets getting a boost,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 165.22 points, or 0.9 percent, to 17,828.76, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) gained 24.69 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,104.05 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 73.40 points, or 1.5 percent, to 5,127.15.

The S&P, which is up nearly 13 percent since hitting its lowest level for the year in August, broke through the 2,100 barrier, bringing it nearer to its all-time closing high of 2,130.82 in May.

“The upward trend that was put in place last week has continued to gain steam,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. “I don’t necessarily think there’s a specific catalyst for it today. Risk appetite has clearly increased.”

As the U.S. earnings seasons winds down, investors are looking to economic data, including this Friday’s employment report, for clues as to whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when it meets in December.

Movers and Shakers

The S&P energy index rose 2.4 percent. Oil majors Exxon and Chevron were two of the three biggest drivers of positive performance for the Dow after both companies posted better-than-expected results on Friday. Chevron (CVX) gained 4.5 percent to $94.96 and Exxon (XOM) finished up 3.1 percent at $85.28.

The S&P health care index increased 2 percent. Pfizer rose 3.7 percent, and AbbVie (ABBV) jumped 6.4 percent, providing the biggest boost to the sector.

Dyax (DYAX) soared 28.4 percent to $35.35 after British drugmaker Shire said it would buy the company for about $5.9 billion. The Nasdaq biotechnology index closed up 3.8 percent.

U.S.-listed shares of Valeant (VRX) rose 7.1 percent at $100.47 after short-seller Citron Research said it wouldn’t be releasing new allegations against the Canadian drugmaker.

The S&P financial sector gained 1.6 percent, led by increases from the big banks. Visa (V) fell 3 percent to $75.22 after offering to buy its former subsidiary Visa Europe for as much as $23.3 billion. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P 500.

Hewlett-Packard started trading after its split. HP (HPQ) jumped 13 percent to $13.83, while Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) slipped 1.6 percent to $14.49.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,525 to 569, for a 4.44-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 2,217 issues rose and 628 fell for a 3.53-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and four new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 76 new highs and 44 new lows.

Market Wrap: Stocks Slip After Energy Slide, Yellen Comments

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Rings The NYSE Opening Bell For The First Day Of Regular-Way Trading
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks edged lower Wednesday, retracing recent gains along with energy shares, while comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen pointing to a possible rate hike in December added to investor caution.

S&P energy, down 1 percent, led the day’s decline.

The fall snapped a run of five straight days of gains for the index, with shares of Chevron (CVX) down 1.4 percent at $96.77 and Exxon Mobil (XOM) down 1 percent at $85.98.

Stocks added to losses after Yellen’s comments, which caused investors to reset their expectations of a December rate hike above 60 percent.

Yellen said December remains a “live possibility” for a rate increase, and William Dudley, the president of the New York Fed and a permanent voting member of the Fed’s policy panel, said later on Wednesday that he would “completely agree” with Yellen.

Still, S&P utilities, which tend to fall in a higher-interest rate environment, were up 0.4 percent, the day’s best-performing sector.

The market is consolidating after a big rally, said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut.

“The gains have been strong over the past five weeks and we’re due for more of a breather here,” said O’ Rourke.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 50.57 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,867.58, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 7.48 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,102.31 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 2.65 points, or 0.05 percent, to 5,142.48.

Stocks rallied after the Fed’s statement last week, when it signaled a December rate hike was still on the table, yet the ongoing debate over when the Fed will actually make its move has added uncertainty to the market.

“It’s really that uncertainty — investors don’t know whether to applaud a rate hike or to fear it,” said Bruce Zaro, chief technical strategist, Bolton Global Asset Management in Boston.

A raft of data released Wednesday suggested the economy was strong enough to support ending an era of near-zero interest rates.

The ADP National Employment Report showed U.S. private employers maintained a steady pace of hiring in October, while data from the Institute for Supply Management showed a jump in new orders buoyed activity in the services sector.

The reports come ahead of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls data, the most widely watched U.S. economic indicator.

Movers and Shakers

Time Warner (TWX), down 6.6 percent at $72.20, weighed on the S&P 500 the most after the company said ratings for its “key” domestic entertainment networks have dropped more than anticipated, while shares of Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA) dropped 5.2 percent to $29.65 after it reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue.

Other media stocks such as Disney (DIS), Viacom (VIA) and Discovery (DISCA) also fell.

U.S. health insurers also slid, with UnitedHealth (UNH) falling 2.6 percent to $114.64.

Groupon (GRPN) lumped 26.3 percent to $2.97 after it forecast weak fourth-quarter and 2016 revenue.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,849 to 1,214, for a 1.52-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,398 issues fell and 1,362 advanced for a 1.03-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 16 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq recorded 69 new highs and 43 new lows.

Market Wrap: Stocks Slip on Mixed Earnings, Jobs Report Looms

Financial Markets Wall Street
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks edged lower Thursday as investors digested mixed tech and health care earnings a day ahead of Friday’s employment report.

Energy shares dragged more than other sectors as crude prices fell. Qualcomm (QCOM) weighed the most on the S&P 500, falling 15.3 percent to $51.07 after the chipmaker forecast first-quarter profit below expectations. Biotech Celgene (CELG) fell 5.3 percent to $120.46 after its quarterly revenue missed targets.

Overall declines were limited by a rise in Facebook shares following the social media company’s strong quarterly results, and a 0.4 percent gain in the financial sector. Facebook (FB) shares jumped 4.6 percent to $108.76.

Investors were looking to Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report as they gauge whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.

“This is a big piece of data as to what the Fed is looking for,” said Scott Colyer, chief executive officer of Advisors Asset Management in Monument, Colorado. “I think everybody wants them to move or not move. The month-to-month stuff is killing everybody.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 4.15 points, or 0.02 percent, to 17,863.43, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 2.38 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,099.93 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 14.74 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,127.74.

The declines paused a rally that took shape in October, the best monthly performance for major stock indexes in four years.

“We have had in the past month … a very strong market, a very sharp rebound, and I think that’s also probably causing some profit taking more than you might expect from the news that’s out there,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in New York.

Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors finished lower. The S&P energy sector fell 1 percent, with Chevron (CVX) off 2.3 percent to $94.55 and Exxon Mobil (XOM) down 1.4 percent at $84.81.

The utilities group dropped 0.8 percent and materials declined 0.5 percent.

The S&P health care sector fell 0.4 percent, weighed down by Celgene’s results.

Drug Price Probe

A U.S. Senate panel began a probe Wednesday into drug price increases, seeking documents from four drugmakers including Valeant Pharmaceuticals. U.S.-listed Valeant (VRX) shares tumbled 14.4 percent to $78.77 on Thursday.

The probe hit the entire biotech group and the broader market as well, said Larry Peruzzi, a senior equity trader at Cabrera Capital Markets in Boston.

HomeAway surged 25.3 percent to $40.15 after Expedia said it would buy the vacation rental site for $3.9 billion. Expedia (EXPE) rose 2.4 percent to $137.40.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,561 to 1,488, for a 1.05-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,497 issues fell and 1,283 advanced for a 1.17-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 22 new 52-week highs and 7 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 94 new highs and 71 new lows.

About 7.3 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, compared with the 7 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Market Wrap: Stocks End Flat as Fed Rate Hike Eyed

Jeh Johnson Rings Opening Bell At New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK — U.S. stocks ended little changed Friday, with a rise in financials countered by a slide in utilities and other sectors, as Wall Street took the strong U.S. jobs report as evidence the Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates.

Since the Fed last week opened the door to a rate increase in December, investors have been looking to economic reports for clues to whether the central bank will take action. Data released Friday showed U.S. non-farm payrolls growth in October was the best since December 2014, while the unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, the lowest since April 2008.

While higher interest rates themselves are not a good thing, a vote of confidence in the strength of the economy I think is going to overshadow that over time.

The three major indexes posted higher weekly performances for the sixth week in a row, after posting their best monthly results in four years in October.

The overall market Friday was “holding up well,” Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois, who noted that a Fed action would indicate the economy is healthy enough to tolerate higher rates.

“While higher interest rates themselves are not a good thing, a vote of confidence in the strength of the economy I think is going to overshadow that over time,” Jankovskis said.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 46.9 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,910.33, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 0.73 points, or 0.03 percent, to 2,099.2 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 19.38 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,147.12.

The S&P financial sector rose 1.1 percent, leading all sectors. Banks tend to benefit from higher borrowing rates, and shares of JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) each climbed at least 3 percent, making them the biggest positive influences on the S&P.

The rate-sensitive utilities sector dropped 3.6 percent, the worst performing group. The S&P consumer staples sector fell 1.1 percent, while the energy group dipped 0.4 percent as crude oil prices were down.

Focus on Rate Increase

“The market is reacting today as if rates will be increased in December,” said Ben Halliburton, chief investment officer at Tradition Capital Management in Summit, New Jersey.

“They’re rotating money to take advantage of that or cut back where they’re not going to be advantageous,” Halliburton added.

Alibaba (BABA) fell 2.1 percent to $83.61 after a CNBC report said short-seller Jim Chanos pitched the company as a possible short.

Shares of Disney (DIS) rose 2.4 percent to $115.67 after it reported a higher-than-expected profit.

ZS Pharma (ZSPH) shares jumped 40.6 percent to $89.04 after Britain’s AstraZeneca (AZN) agreed to buy the biotech company for $2.7 billion.

Tableau Software (DATA) shares jumped 21.4 percent to $102.44 after higher-than-expected results, with other data analytics stocks also rising.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,931 to 1,186, for a 1.63-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 1,726 issues rose and 1,086 fell for a 1.59-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 15 new 52-week highs and 9 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 151 new highs and 70 new lows.

Market Wrap: Stocks Give Up Gains After Germany Bomb Scare

Financial Markets Wall StreetNEW YORK — U.S. stocks forfeited gains Tuesday after a soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands was called off over fears of a bombing.

All three major U.S. indexes had ventured into positive territory following upbeatearnings reports from Walmart and Home Depot. But they quickly relinquished those gains after the friendly match was canceled less than two hours before its start due to indications of a planned attack with explosives at the stadium in Hanover.

That added to apprehension following last week’s attacks in Paris that killed 129 people.

“These situations create uncertainty and in uncertain times everyone goes to cash,” said Mohannad Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management in New York.

Despite the broad market’s reversal, Walmart (WMT) ended 3.5 percent higher and Home Depot (HD) climbed 4.4 percent, pushing the S&P 500 retail index up 1 pct.

There’s a shift in consumer behavior, but the consumer is still spending.

The healthy quarterly performance of Walmart and Home Depot stood in contrast to results from department stores Macy’s (M) and Nordstrom (JWN) last week that sent some retail stock sharply lower.

“There’s a shift in consumer behavior, but the consumer is still spending,” said Steve Goldman, principal of Goldman Management in Short Hills, New Jersey. “They’re just spending differently, whether on restaurants or travel.”

Home Depot rival Lowe’s (LOW) rose 1.7 percent and Target (TGT) added 0.8 percent. Both report their quarterly results Wednesday.

Data released Tuesday offered a mixed view of the health of the U.S. economy –consumer prices increased in October after two straight months of declines, while industrial production fell.

The modest rise in inflation could bolster chances of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates next month, but weak industrial output raised concerns about the robustness of fourth-quarter economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose less than 0.1 percent to end at 17,489.50 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 0.1 percent to finish at 2,050.44. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC)
was essentially flat, ending at 4,986.02.

Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors fell, with the utilities sector’s 1.9 percent drop leading the decliners.

Criminal Probe

Shares of dietary supplement-makers sank after federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, said they would announce criminal and civil actions related to unlawful advertising and sale of dietary supplements.

GNC Holdings (GNC) dropped 6.4 percent, Vitamin Shoppe (VSI) fell 4.9 percent and Herbalife (HLF) lost 1.5 percent. None of the companies were named in the subsequent Justice Department release.

Underscoring the uneven performance among retailers, Urban Outfitters (URBN) dropped 3.8 percent and Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) lost 9.4 percent after handing in quarterly report cards that disappointed investors.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,934 to 1,126. On the Nasdaq, 1,501 issues fell and 1,290 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 10 new 52-week highs and 16 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 148 new lows.

About 7.5 billion shares changing hands on U.S. exchanges, compared to the 7.2 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters (TRI) data.

Abhiram Nandakumar contributed reporting from Bangalore, India.

What to watch Wednesday:

  • The Commerce Department releases housing starts for October at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its October policy meeting at 2 p.m.

Earnings Season
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:

  • Aramark (ARMK)
  • Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR)
  • L Brands (LB)
  • Lowe’s (LOW)
  • NetApp (NTAP)
  • Salesforce.com (CRM)
  • Staples (SPLS)
  • Target (TGT)