The main Wall Street indexes ended the trading session on Thursday without significant changes in anticipation of the start of the new reporting season.
The blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 0.05% to a level of 26,143.05 points. On the other hand, the S&P 500 remained unchanged at 2,888.32 points, while Nasdaq Composite fell by 0.2% to 7,949.36 points.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.10-to-1 ratio, while on Nasdaq, a 1.21-to-1 ratio favored decliners. The volume on the US exchanges was 6.00 billion shares, compared to the 7.17 billion average over the last 20 trading days.
Banks J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo will publish their financial statements on Friday, followed by Citigroup and Goldman Sachs reporting earnings on Monday and Bank of America and Morgan Stanley on Tuesday, giving the start of the new reporting season. Analyst of FactSet calculates that S&P 500’s first-quarter earnings will decline by 4.2%, which will be the worst reporting season since 2016.
Earlier, the markets moved to positive territory, boosted by progress in the Sino-American trade talks. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese authorities have agreed to open up their cloud computing sector to foreign companies in the framework of the dialogue with Washington.
The investors also continue to closely follow the Brexit saga. On Wednesday, the European leaders agreed to extend the deadline for Brexit until October 31, which brought some reassurance to European markets earlier.
On Wednesday was published the report of the last Federal Reserve meeting in Marc, according to which the bankers have expressed greater confidence that they will not need to change interest rates this year. They also see no reason to continue raising interest rates due to the greater risks to the US economy.
On the economic front, initial jobless claims dropped last week to their lowest level since 1969, while in March, producer prices made their biggest gain since October, according to separate reports from the US Labor Department. The upbeat data could ease worries of a sharp global economic downturn reaching US shores, a concern reflected in minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting released on Wednesday.
The yields on 10-year and 30-year US government bonds rose to 2.497% and 2.929%, respectively.
Corporate stocks performance
Financial stocks were up by 0.6%, while healthcare stocks fell by 1.2% after US Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a “Medicare for All” plan to Congress, and the Senate Finance Committee concluded a hearing to discuss the role pharmacy benefit managers play in drug pricing.
UnitedHealth Group weighed heaviest on the Dow, falling by 4.3%.
The US Steel Corp dropped by 3.2% after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the stock to “underperform”. Peers AK Steel Holding Corp and Steel Dynamics Inc dropped 8.3% and 2.5%, respectively.
Home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond fell by 8.8% as its bleak first-quarter profits raised doubts about its turnaround plan.
Shares of Lyft Inc reversed course, rising by 1.5%. Still, the stock is currently trading about 15% below its 72 USD offer price since its March 29 debut, casting a shadow over rival Uber Technologies’ impending IPO.
The stocks of technology giants under the common name FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google) did not found a single direction with Netflix adding 1%, while Apple fell by 0.8%.