Wall Street slightly lower as Citi results weigh on bank stocks

By Medha Singh and Uday Sampath Kumar (Reuters) - Wall Street's three main indexes edged lower in choppy trade on Monday, easing from record highs, as declines in Boeing and bank stocks after Citigroup's quarterly report were tempered by a rise in healthcare shares.

Reuters July 16, 2019 00:05:24 IST
Wall Street slightly lower as Citi results weigh on bank stocks

Wall Street slightly lower as Citi results weigh on bank stocks

By Medha Singh and Uday Sampath Kumar

(Reuters) - Wall Street's three main indexes edged lower in choppy trade on Monday, easing from record highs, as declines in Boeing and bank stocks after Citigroup's quarterly report were tempered by a rise in healthcare shares.

Citigroup Inc reported a better-than-expected profit kicking off earnings for major U.S. lenders, but reported a decline in interest margins, with its shares marginally lower in volatile trading.

The compression in Citi's net interest margins will have investors keeping a close eye on the metric for the other big banks reporting this week, especially with a possible interest rate cut on the horizon, Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York said.

JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Wells Fargo & Co slipped ahead of their earnings reports on Tuesday.

Banks dropped 1.02%, while the S&P 500 financial index fell 0.61%.

Keeping losses in check were healthcare stocks, which rose 0.22%, one of the five major S&P sectors in the positive territory.

Healthcare was supported by gains in Gilead Sciences Inc, after the drugmaker said it would invest $5.1 billion in a major expansion of its partnership with biotech Galapagos NV.

Second-quarter earnings start in earnest this week and analysts expect S&P 500 companies to report a 0.3% fall in profit, the first quarterly drop in three years, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

At 12:52 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 32.75 points, or 0.12%, at 27,299.28, the S&P 500 was down 4.58 points, or 0.15%, at 3,009.19 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 5.97 points, or 0.07%, at 8,238.17.

The three main indexes ended last week at record closing highs as dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell bolstered hopes that the central bank would deliver its first interest rate cut in a decade later this month.

S&P and Dow heavyweight Boeing Co slipped 0.7% on a report that the 737 Max jet may stay grounded until early 2020.

Symantec Corp tumbled 14.2% and was the top loser on the benchmark index after a report that the cybersecurity company and Broadcom Inc have ceased deal talks, with the chipmaker up 1.2%.

Paper packaging companies Westrock Co, Packaging Corp of America and International Paper Co shed between 1.7% and 3% after KeyBanc downgraded their shares, citing risks from a further fall in containerboard and pulp prices.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.20-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.27-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 61 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 68 new highs and 47 new lows.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta)

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

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