Wall Street edged lower on Thursday following a spate of disappointing earnings and as investors appeared to turn cautious amid concerns that US-China trade talks have stalled.
The S&P 500 declined 0.3 per cent to 2,807.92, paring losses of as much as 0.6 per cent earlier this morning. Utilities were the biggest gainer rising 0.8 per cent, while real estate and consumer staples were the only other major sectors in the black. Their gains were offset by a 0.9 per cent slide in financials and a 0.8 per cent drop in materials.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off by 0.3 per cent to 25,121.08, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.2 per cent to 7,838.71. The Russell 2000 of small-cap stocks bucked the sell-off however and was up 0.3 per cent to 1,697.72.
Global stocks turned lower as trade fears resurfaced with concerns the dispute between the US and China could worsen if talks between the nations remain stalled. The jitters were driven by US National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow’s remarks that Chinese president Xi Jinping “does not wish to make a deal” to end tariffs.
The decline also came amid a disappointing batch of earnings. eBay was the single biggest decliner on the S&P 500, down more than 8 per cent, after the online marketplace issued weak guidance for the current quarter and lowered its full-year outlook raising fears that the company is losing market share. Philip Morris shares were also off by about 2.5 per cent after the tobacco company cut its full-year earnings guidance as it struggles to win new customers for its heat-not-burn devices. Meanwhile shares in Bank of New York Mellon were off 6 per cent and eyeing their worst day in two years after warning on client losses.
Elsewhere in markets, the yield on the two-year was down 1 basis point to 2.599 per cent, while that on the 10-year was 1.7 basis points lower at 2.853 per cent. Yields move inversely to price.
Meanwhile, the dollar index, a gauge of the buck against a basket of weighted peers, rose 0.4 per cent to 95.47 having hit its highest level in a year earlier in the session.
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