cloudyn.png
Sunday October 20th, 2019 3:02AM

S&P 500 snaps 2-day losing streak; mixed finish for stocks

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Wall Street capped a day of listless trading Tuesday with modest gains, narrowly avoiding a three-day losing streak for the S&P 500 index.

A last-minute burst of buying nudged the benchmark index into positive territory after spending most of the day flat or down.

Stocks have wavered between small gains and losses following a run of record highs last week. Investors have been mostly pausing ahead of two days of congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Traders will be listening to the exchanges that Powell has with lawmakers on Wednesday and Thursday for hints about the Fed's next move on interest rates.

The market rallied through much of June after the central bank signaled that it's prepared to cut rates to offset slowing global growth and the fallout from U.S. trade conflicts. But an unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs report Friday has dimmed investors' expectations.

Many traders still expect the Fed will cut its benchmark rate by a quarter percentage point at the end of the month, but fewer are now expecting a half-point reduction.

"Certainly the jobs report put into perspective just how much easing may be possible, given the continued strength of the economy," said Justin Kelly, chief investment officer at Winslow Capital. "So the market is likely recalibrating."

The S&P 500 rose 3.68 points, or 0.1%, to 2,979.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.65 points, or 0.1%, to 26,783.49.

The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology companies, gained 43.35 points, or 0.5%, to 8,141.73. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks added 1.20 points, or 0.1%, to 1,562.59.

Major stock indexes in Europe finished lower.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.07% from 2.03% late Monday.

Despite lingering worries over trade, investors have pushed stocks mostly higher since early June after the Fed raised expectations for a rate cut. The benchmark S&P 500 hit all-time highs three straight days last week. Even with the sluggish start to the week, the S&P 500 is just 0.5% below its record high set Wednesday.

The question is whether the Fed will still see a good argument for cutting interest rates after the strong June jobs data.

The Fed's benchmark interest rate currently stands in a range of 2.25% to 2.5% and the central bank has not cut rates since the Great Recession in 2008. Last year, Fed officials raised rates four times, in part to stave off the risk of high inflation and in part to try to ensure that they would have room to cut rates if the economy stumbled.

On Friday, the Fed emphasized that it would act as necessary to sustain the economic expansion, while noting that most Fed officials have lowered their expectations for the course of rates.

While investors are focused on the Fed this week, traders may also be holding back ahead of next week, when the bulk of S&P 500 companies begin reporting their second quarter results.

Expectations are generally low, and this could be the first time in three years that S&P 500 companies report a back-to-back decline in overall earnings, according to FactSet.

"This is the quiet before the storm, the storm in this case being earnings season," Kelly said. "It's going to be a mixed earnings season because we can all observe the weaker macroeconomic data, which is going to affect companies that are more dependent on a strong economy."

Companies in the technology, health care and consumer discretionary sectors are likely to deliver stronger results, given that U.S. consumer spending and sentiment remain strong.

"You may be starting to see investors position for that, believing that earnings may be positive catalyst for the share prices in those growth sectors," Kelly said.

Investors are in good shape heading into earnings season. The S&P 500 is up 18.9% and the Nasdaq has gained 22.7%.

Technology and communications services stocks drove much of Tuesday's gains in the market. Advanced Micro Devices climbed 3.5% and Twitter rose 3.3%.

Banks also notched solid gains, receiving a boost from rising bond yields, which drive up interest rates on mortgages and other loans. First Republic Bank gained 1.5%.

Higher mortgage rates spell bad news for would-be homebuyers, making home loans more expensive. That weighed on homebuilders, which closed broadly lower. Hovnanian Enterprises led the slide, dropping 4.2%.

Consumer staples, materials and industrials stocks lagged the broader market. Monster Beverage dropped 1.9%, Mosaic fell 3% and 3M slid 2.1%.

Investors bid up shares in Acacia Communications 35.1% after the company agreed to be acquired by Cisco Systems.

Energy futures closed broadly higher Tuesday. Benchmark crude oil gained 17 cents to settle at $57.83 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, rose 5 cents to close at $64.16 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $1.93 per gallon. Heating oil climbed 1 cent to $1.91 per gallon. Natural gas rose 3 cents to $2.43 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose 50 cents to $1,397.50 per ounce, silver rose 10 cents to $15.07 per ounce and copper fell 4 cents to $2.62 per pound.

The dollar rose to 108.89 Japanese yen from 108.72 yen on Monday. The euro weakened to $1.1207 from $1.1212.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Uber offers riders more legroom, less chatting at a price
Uber is letting passengers request a more comfortable ride if they're willing to pay with a new "comfort" service launched Tuesday
5:19PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Feds: 2 skydivers joined doomed Hawaii flight at last minute
The National Transportation Safety Board says two skydivers made a last-minute decision to board the Hawaii plane that crashed and killed 11 people last month
5:14PM ( 10 minutes ago )
'Giant sucking sound': Perot's quips over the years
H. Ross Perot, who died Tuesday at his home in Dallas, was known for memorable quips, especially during his run for president as a third-party candidate in 1992
5:10PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Architect known for African American museum dies
An architect who designed buildings ranging from local libraries to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture has died in North Carolina
4:50PM ( 34 minutes ago )
H. Ross Perot rose from poverty to self-made billionaire
H. Ross Perot rose from a childhood of Depression-era poverty to become a self-made billionaire who twice ran for president with a mixture of folksy sayings and simple solutions to America's problems
4:36PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Hoverboard fire lawsuit against Amazon can move forward
A Tennessee family's lawsuit against online retailer Amazon over a hoverboard fire that destroyed their home can move forward
4:28PM ( 56 minutes ago )
AP Business
Japan says it won't discuss or retract SKorea export rules
Japan rebuffs call for negotiations over tightened controls on exports to South Korea
2:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
UK's Labour shifts policy, now backs new Brexit referendum
In a significant shift, Britain's main opposition Labour Party says the country's next leader should hold a referendum on whether to leave the European Union or remain in the bloc
1:42PM ( 3 hours ago )
US stock indexes are mostly lower, extending a weak streak
Major U.S. stock indexes are moving mostly lower in afternoon trading, nudging the broader market toward a three-day losing streak
1:39PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Powell says bank stress tests need to keep evolving
Fed Chairman Powell says annual bank stress tests, while successful, will need to keep evolving
9:07AM ( 8 hours ago )
Global shares mostly retreat ahead of Fed statement
Global shares are mostly lower in quiet trading as investors await signs of what might be ahead for U.S. interest rates
7:36AM ( 9 hours ago )
Asian shares mostly retreat ahead of Fed statement
Asian shares are mostly lower in quiet trading as investors await signs of what might be ahead for U.S. interest rates
2:53AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Family of teen killed during gas explosions settles lawsuit
The family of a teenager killed during a series of natural gas explosions in Massachusetts last year has settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the utility company
2:46PM ( 2 hours ago )
Willie Nelson brings Farm Aid 2019 to Wisconsin's dairy land
Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and the Dave Matthews Band will headline Farm Aid 2019 when the music and food festival visits Wisconsin's dairy country in September
2:00PM ( 3 hours ago )
23 governors join Calif. in opposing Trump mileage standards
California is welcoming the support of governors in 22 other states and Puerto Rico in its faceoff with the Trump administration over vehicle mileage standards
10:53AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
US stocks drop on lower odds for a Fed rate cut
Stocks are down on Wall Street in early trading amid growing speculation among investors that unexpectedly strong U.S. employment data may keep the Federal Reserve from aggressively cutting interest rates
10:32AM ( 1 day ago )
Global stocks steady after big Asia falls post US payrolls
Global stock markets recovered their poise Monday after a big sell-off in Asia in the wake of unexpectedly strong U.S. employment data tempered hopes the Federal Reserve will aggressively cut interest rates in the months to come.
8:45AM ( 1 day ago )
Turkish currency drops after central bank chief is fired
Turkey's currency has fallen sharply, reawakening concerns of another bout of financial jitters in the country, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired the central bank governor
6:46AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Uber offers riders more legroom, less chatting at a price
Uber is letting passengers request a more comfortable ride if they're willing to pay with a new "comfort" service launched Tuesday
5:19PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Feds: 2 skydivers joined doomed Hawaii flight at last minute
The National Transportation Safety Board says two skydivers made a last-minute decision to board the Hawaii plane that crashed and killed 11 people last month
5:14PM ( 10 minutes ago )
'Giant sucking sound': Perot's quips over the years
H. Ross Perot, who died Tuesday at his home in Dallas, was known for memorable quips, especially during his run for president as a third-party candidate in 1992
5:10PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Attorney: Girl fell to death from open window on cruise ship
An attorney for the family of an 18-month-old Indiana girl who fell to her death from the 11th story of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico says she plunged from a window inexplicably left open in a children's play area
5:09PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Trump defends Acosta but will look into Epstein plea deal
Trump defends Acosta, but says he'll look into Epstein plea deal
5:08PM ( 15 minutes ago )