Wall Street flat; GE leads industrials lower

by Abel Hampton July 23, 2016, 8:43
Wall Street flat; GE leads industrials lower

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index finished off 16.03 points or 0.3% at 5,073.90.

With the S&P 500 bellwether closing up 0.4% at 2,173 - a fresh record high - as well as hitting a fresh intraday record high of 2,175.63, the technology sector did much to power that latest historical achievement.

After the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average was off about 30 points, or 0.2%.

"Markets have been resilient", Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey, said by phone.

DEAL TROUBLES: Health insurers fell after Bloomberg News reported that US antitrust officials may move to block two big deals in the industry. The UK's FTSE 100 index increased 0.5 percent, France's CAC 40 index rose 1.2 percent while Germany's DAX index rallied 1.6 percent. "So central bankers are quite at a loss of what to do".

BIGGER WAVES AHEAD? Next week could be a more exciting one for markets, with the Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve both holding policy meetings. The Bank of Japan will meet on July 29.

The Fed pulled rates off their record low in December but has held pat since then. Shifting rate-hike expectations can influence the recent trend for stocks.

Despite the stats now showing nine consecutive weeks of stockpile draw downs, crude prices have hitherto always fallen as the drains have been less than forecast and also as supplies have been rising in the global market. "Equities are likely to have a harder time to climb further in this environment", said Mark Kepner, managing director of sales and trading at Themis Trading.

The ECB left interest rates unchanged, as was widely expected, and said it expects rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time.

That helped send other technology stocks higher.

US stocks fell greatly as the stopped a nine-day winning streak, after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi hinted that the Governing Council might be prepared to carry out brand-new reducing procedures following Thursday's choice to hold rate of interest constant. The nation got bids for 3.49 billion euros at the sale on Wednesday, compared with its target of 5 billion euros. First Majestic Silver Corp (NYSE: AG) lost almost 9.5 percent. "This is a case where the US stock market is the only place to go".

In other quarterly reports, Morgan Stanley closed up 2.2 per cent after its profit topped analysts' estimates, rounding off upbeat results from the six biggest Wall Street banks.

Insurer Travelers Cos. Inc.

A median estimate of economists forecast existing home sales to decline 0.5% from May.

ALIGHTING: American Airlines climbed $1.10, or 3.1 percent, to $36.06 after reporting a milder drop in quarterly earnings than analysts expected.

But a few months of better prices have improved the outlook for some major industry players.

EBay Inc.(EBAY) surged 11% and Qualcomm Inc. It was the first day of trading for the producer of natural gas and oil after it reported higher-than-expected earnings and raised its forecast for production this year.

Activity of USA manufacturers in the Philadelphia region (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/philly-fed-manufacturing- index-turns-negative-in-july-2016-07-21) contracted again in July, suggesting manufacturing continues to struggle. On the Nasdaq, 1,568 issues rose and 1,006 fell.

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