S&P 500 index little changed despite strong P&G earnings

By April Joyner NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index edged lower on Friday as strong earnings from Procter & Gamble Co were balanced by ongoing concerns about rising interest rates and geopolitical tensions denting U.S. economic growth.

Reuters October 20, 2018 02:05:20 IST
S&P 500 index little changed despite strong P&G earnings

SP 500 index little changed despite strong PG earnings

By April Joyner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index edged lower on Friday as strong earnings from Procter & Gamble Co were balanced by ongoing concerns about rising interest rates and geopolitical tensions denting U.S. economic growth.

Shares of Procter & Gamble jumped 8.3 percent after the consumer goods company reported a surprise rise in first-quarter sales. Procter & Gamble was one of the top boosts to the S&P 500, and its rise helped advance the S&P 500 consumer staples index 2.3 percent.

The sector, which has underperformed the broader S&P 500 this year, was set for its biggest daily percentage gain in more than two years.

"When companies like (Procter & Gamble) give good earnings and provide good guidance, that's a good thing for the market overall," said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

Yet recent jitters regarding interest rates, trade and geopolitical issues in Italy and Saudi Arabia, which have weighed U.S. stocks this week, persisted.

The benchmark S&P 500 index slid below its 200-day moving average, a key statistical indicator of long-term price trends. Defensive sectors - utilities and real estate in addition to consumer staples - led the S&P in percentage gains, signalling caution among investors.

"There a lot of cross-currents right now, with Italy, housing weakness, interest rates," said Michael Antonelli, managing director of institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

U.S. home sales fell in September by the most in over two years as the housing market continued to struggle despite strength across the broader economy. Home sales have now fallen for six straight months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39.47 points, or 0.16 percent, to 25,418.92, the S&P 500 lost 2.59 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,766.19 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 40.27 points, or 0.54 percent, to 7,444.87.

Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc climbed 8.6 percent, on track for their highest one-day percentage gain in two years, after the payments company beat quarterly profit estimates.

However, shares of Honeywell International Inc erased earlier gains to trade 0.8 percent lower as the industrial conglomerate said it was seeing slower growth in China and that trade tariffs would potentially cost it "hundreds of millions" of dollars in 2019.

Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to increase 22.2 percent year-over-year for the third quarter, according to Refinitiv data. Of the 84 companies that have reported earnings so far, 78.6 percent have beaten expectations.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.22-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.18-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

The S&P 500 posted eight new 52-week highs and 37 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 11 new highs and 187 new lows.

(Reporting by April Joyner; Additional reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Government aid, stock gains push U.S. wealth to pre-pandemic levels, Fed says
Business

Government aid, stock gains push U.S. wealth to pre-pandemic levels, Fed says

By Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A rebounding stock market and massive federal aid payments pushed the net worth of U.S. households back to pre-coronavirus levels in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve reported on Monday, with savings accounts and equity portfolios both rising sharply despite the pandemic

Traders shun risky assets as new lockdowns loom
Business

Traders shun risky assets as new lockdowns loom

By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks across the world hit their lowest in seven weeks and other risk assets sold off on Monday on concerns over renewed lockdown measures in Europe and Britain, as well as the United States' inability to agree on fiscal stimulus that would support millions of unemployed. Oil prices fell nearly 5%, the dollar rallied and an index of emerging market currencies fell by the most in six months. The MSCI world equity index , which tracks shares in 49 countries, touched its lowest since Aug.

Traders shun risky assets as new lockdowns loom; stocks, oil tumble
Business

Traders shun risky assets as new lockdowns loom; stocks, oil tumble

By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks across the world hit their lowest in seven weeks and other risk assets also sold off on Monday on concerns over renewed lockdown measures in Europe and Britain, as well as the United States' inability to agree on fiscal stimulus that would support millions of unemployed. Oil prices fell more than 3%, the dollar rose against a basket of peers and an index of emerging market currencies fell by the most in six months. The MSCI world equity index , which tracks shares in 49 countries, ended at its lowest since Aug