Wall Street Dips as Investors Assess Rate Outlook

تم نشره في Sat 20 August / Aug 2016. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Sat 20 August / Aug 2016. 10:18 PM
  • A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013. (Reuters)

 

NEW YORK — US stocks edged lower on Friday, led by declines in utility shares as investors weighed prospects for an interest rate increase in the coming months.

 

Energy shares also weighed on the market, even though US crude oil prices settled higher.

 

The S&P utility index .SPLRCU, which tends to fall as investor rate hike expectations rise, ended down 1.2 per cent. The telecommunications index .SPLRCL, also sensitive to changes in interest rates, fell 0.9 per cent.

 

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams late on Thursday said if the US central bank waited too long to raise rates, it could be costly for the economy and that a possible rate hike in September should be in play.

 

The comments added to statements perceived as hawkish from New York Fed President William Dudley earlier in the week.

 

Investors also are bracing for next week's meeting of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Fed Chair Janet Yellen may provide insight on the rate outlook.

 

The market's recent run-up to record highs has been partly supported by expectations that the Fed will continue to keep rates low, as well as by some upbeat earnings and economic news.

 

"Equities are ending this week largely unchanged. The dog days of summer are among us, earnings season is over and investors are in pause mode with the popular indices near all-time highs," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at US Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

 

"I think we're going sideways for a month or so as we await visibility. In the absence of earnings data, I think the Fed will take centre stage."

 

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI ended down 45.13 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 18,552.57, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 3.15 points, or 0.14 per cent, to close at 2,183.87 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 1.77 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 5,238.38.

 

For the week, the Dow was down 0.1 per cent, the S&P 500 was down 0.01 per cent and the NASDAQ was up 0.1 per cent.

 

The benchmark S&P 500 index remains up 6.8 per cent for the year so far.

 

The energy index .SPNY was down 0.8 per cent.

 

Among the day's gainers, Applied Materials (AMAT.O) rose 7.1 per cent to USD29.64 after the chip equipment maker gave a strong current-quarter profit forecast.

 

Also, Deere (DE.N) was up 13.5 per cent at USD87.32 after the farming machinery maker raised its full-year profit outlook.

 

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.45-to-1 ratio; on NASDAQ, a 1.11-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

 

The S&P 500 posted 20 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 102 new highs and 22 new lows.

 

Volume was low. Just 5.7 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared with the 6.4 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

 

(Reuters)

 

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