The leading US indexes remained unchanged at the end of Thursday’s stock trading session amid worse-than-expected housing data in the United States and the latest news on the trade front.
Thus, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes managed to put an end to their three-day winning streak.
The downtrend of the telecom sector, headed by Facebook, pushed S&P down, wiping out 0.1% of its value to 2,808.48 points. The technology benchmark Nasdaq Composite fell by 0.16% to 7,630.91 points.
The S & P 500 technology sector was particularly strong in the past week, marking a growth of over 3% by the end of Thursday’s stock trading session. This is also the sector with the highest growth since the beginning of the year.
The blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial Average remained almost unchanged with an increase of 0.03% to 25,709.94 points.
The investors’ sentiment was mainly affected by the latest US economic data. The sales of new homes in the United States surprisingly dropped by 6.9% in January, which is also a sign that the US administration shutdown blocked buyers in a wait-and-see position.
The investors also focused on ongoing US-China trade talks. The Chinese authorities want the announcement of the agreement to be made during the official visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping to the United States. Beijing prefers the deal to be signed before the visit, while Trump insists the deal to be made at a meeting with the Chinese president.
According to sources, the upcoming meeting, which was expected later this month, is likely to take place at the earliest in April.
Meanwhile, the US bond yields are on the rise, with both 10- and 30-year Treasuries reaching 2.63% and 3.044%, respectively.
Corporate stocks performance
Facebook shares dropped by nearly 1.9% after problems with one of the leading applications of the company – Instagram and WhatsApp. The shares were also under pressure after publication in New York Times newspaper, which states that the federal prosecutor’s office in the US has begun a criminal investigation into the company’s dealings with other technology giants.
On this background, the stocks of Apple and Snap rose by 1.1% and 12.2%, respectively.
The shares of the industrial giant General Electric ended with an increase of 2.8%, although before the start of the stock exchange session they fell by 4% after the company posted worse than expected earnings guidance for 2019.
The shares of Burlington Stores fell by 1.8% in heavy volume. The stock plunged a week ago after a weak earnings report and has continued to drop. It is now trading below the 50-day and 200-day moving averages.
The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Visa and Nike, adding 1.13% and 1.09%, respectively. On the opposite side in the composition were Pfizer, Intel, and DowDuPont, wiping out 1.95%, 1.71%, and 1.56%, respectively.
The stocks of the energy industry TechnipFMC PLC appreciated by 4.98, being the top performer in the S&P 500. Other winners in the composition were KKR & Co (+4.58%) and Lam Research (+3.59%). The worst performers were Dollar General Corporation (-7.49%), L Brands Inc (-3.14%) and Assurant Inc (-3.04%).
Corporate earnings reports
Oracle earnings beat estimates for the fiscal third quarter and the company provided a forecast that met expectations. Oracle’s revenue fell by 1% from a year earlier in the quarter, which ended on February 28. Thus, the company reported revenue of 9.61 billion USD. The earnings amounted to 0.87 USD per share, excluding certain items, versus 0.84 USD per share, excluding certain items, as expected by analysts. With respect to guidance, Oracle CEO Safra Catz said the company is expecting earnings per share of 1.05 USD to 1.09 USD, excluding certain items, and revenue that would be flat to down 2% in the fiscal fourth quarter. The analysts were looking for guidance of 1.05 USD in earnings per share, excluding certain items, and a 1% revenue drop.
The semiconductor producer Broadcom posted stronger than expected first-quarter earnings and said it would return around 12 billion USD to stockholders this year through dividends and stock buybacks. Broadcom said earnings for the three months ending on February 3, the company’s fiscal first quarter, came in at 5.55 USD per share, up 8.4% from the same period last year. The group net revenues were pegged at 5.789 billion USD, up 8.7% from the previous year period.