Wall Street dips as energy weighs | Reuters
By Chuck Mikolajczak The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped on Wednesday as a sharp drop in energy stocks offset gains in financials and drug stocks.The ADP National Employment report showed the U.S. private sector added 298,000 jobs last month, well above expectations calling for a 190,000 increase.The robust data sets the stage for Friday's nonfarm payrolls report, which includes private and public sector jobs and is seen as a barometer of the U.S. economy
By Chuck Mikolajczak
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped on Wednesday as a sharp drop in energy stocks offset gains in financials and drug stocks.The ADP National Employment report showed the U.S. private sector added 298,000 jobs last month, well above expectations calling for a 190,000 increase.The robust data sets the stage for Friday's nonfarm payrolls report, which includes private and public sector jobs and is seen as a barometer of the U.S. economy. With a small chance of a weak payrolls report, the U.S. Federal Reserve is more likely to raise rates at its meeting next week. Traders now price in an 85.2 percent chance of a rate increase, according to Thomson Reuters data, up from 30 percent at the start of last week following hawkish comments from a string of Federal Reserve officials, including Chair Janet Yellen.The S&P 500 financial index .SPSY was up 0.15 percent, led by big banks such as Citigroup (C.N), Bank of America (BAC.N) and Wells Fargo (WFC.N). Healthcare .SPXHC, up 0.5 percent, advanced as drug stocks rebounded from declines in the prior session after President Donald Trump's comments on Twitter on Tuesday about reducing drug prices. The energy sector .SPNY, down 2.1 percent, weighed as oil prices tumbled more than 5 percent in the wake of a much stronger-than-expected rise in U.S. inventories.
"The way the market feels it is kind of grinding again," said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey. Wall Street's main indexes are not far from all-time highs, driven by bets of pro-growth policies under President Donald Trump's administration."The market is predicting growth, it is basing its growth on some of the fiscal stimulus out of Trump world, whether it is tax cuts or deregulation, that is where we are right now and that is why the banks are doing well," said Saluzzi.
However, sparse details on his plans have tempered the rally and have raised concerns on valuations. The S&P 500 is trading at about 18 times forward earnings estimates against the long-term average of about 15 times, according to Thomson Reuters data.The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 48.59 points, or 0.23 percent, to 20,876.17, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 3.47 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,364.92 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 6.70 points, or 0.11 percent, to 5,840.63.
Caterpillar (CAT.N) fell 1.8 percent after the New York Times said it reviewed a report commissioned by the U.S. government that accused the heavy equipment maker of carrying out tax and accounting fraud. H&R Block (HRB.N) shares surged more than 16 percent and were on track for their best day in over eight years, after the tax preparation company posted its quarterly results.Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.14-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.12-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.The S&P 500 posted 15 new 52-week highs and 12 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 59 new highs and 42 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.