Major US indexes ended the Friday session without a single direction, and market participants continue to watch with worries talks on trade between the US and China as well as slowing economic growth.
The blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial Average wiped out 63.27 points to 25,106.26 points, with the Walgreens Boots Alliance and UnitedHealth Group performing most significantly. Dow recorded his first three-day losing season since December.
The broad S&P 500, however, achieved a minimum growth of 0.07% to a level of 2,707.88 points with the energy and non-essential consumer goods performing worst. The technology index Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.14% to a level of 7,298.20 points.
The main indexes rose significantly from the record low in the last trading minutes, helping Dow and Nasdaq to record their seventh consecutive weekly growth. The S&P 500 also posted a slight increase for the week.
Despite the overall declines, Friday’s earnings news was generally positive. Coty, Skechers and Mattel all blasted out double-digit advances on earnings reports. Top-rated stock Ubiquiti Networks scored a powerful early breakout after a positive earnings report.
Shares of medical supplies vendor Henry Schein dived after launching the spinoff of its animal health business, Covetrus.
The Wall Street Journal said on Friday that the US and China have not yet outlined the issues they agree on. They still have differences and the deadline for reaching an agreement in early March is approaching. On Thursday, the US President Donald Trump said he would not meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before the deadline. White House Adviser Larry Kudlow also said that “there is a long way to go before China and the US reach an agreement.
At the same time, the European Commission has slashed its forecast for the Ëurozone economic growth in 2019 and 2020 on Thursday, reopening the fears that the world economy may be slowing down.
Growing uncertainty about the US-China trade relations and growing worries about the global economy coincided with the deterioration in company profits forecasts in 2019.
Profit in the first quarter of 2019 is expected to shrink by more than 1%. If it really comes to a downturn, it will be the first S&P 500 gain in the second quarter of 2016 when a 2.52% drop was recorded.
On bond markets, yields on 10-year and 30-year US Treasury bonds declined to 2,627% and 2,98%, respectively.
In the forex markets, the dollar index, which measures the value of US dollars against a basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.13% to a level of 96.63 points. The Euro depreciated by 0.17% against the US dollar to a level of 1.1324 USD. Compared to the Japanese yen, the US currency recorded a minimal decline of 0.06% to 109.74 JPY.
On the commodity markets, oil prices recorded a weekly decline following volatile trading on Friday. The prices are falling against a background of worries about slowing the global economy. But the reduction in supply from OPEC, and US sanctions against Venezuela supported some of the black gold.
The futures on US light crude WTI ended the Friday session with an increase of 0.08 USD to 52.72 USD per barrel, ending the week with a fall of 4.6%. This is the biggest weekly decline since the beginning of the year.
International Brent variety added 0.51 USD to its value to 62.14 USD per barrel, ending with a weekly decline of about 1%.