By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Wall Street edged lower on Thursday and looked set to book losses for the third straight day as investors weighed earnings from big U.S. banks and President Donald Trump's comments on the strength of the dollar.Wells Fargo's shares fell 2 percent, pulling down the S&P 500 and the financial sector, after the bank reported a big drop in mortgage banking revenue. Berkshire Hathaway's disclosure on Wednesday that it had cut its stake in the bank also weighed on the stock.JPMorgan and Citigroup also slipped, despite reporting better-than-expected quarterly profits. Bank stocks have retreated after a strong rally as investors fret over lofty valuations amid questions about Trump's ability to do good on his promises of tax cuts and simpler regulations after failing to get a healthcare bill passed. The S&P 500 financial index slipped 0.3 percent, setting it up for the fifth straight day of losses.
At 12:28 p.m. ET (1628 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 40.94 points, or 0.2 percent, at 20,550.92, the S&P 500 was down 3.84 points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,341.09 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.68 points, or 0.01 percent, at 5,835.48.President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the dollar "was getting too strong" and that he would like to see interest rates stay low. Investors have sought safe-haven assets through the week amid geopolitical tensions in Syria and North Korea. A report of a massive bomb being dropped by the United States in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday added to uncertainty.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, led by a near 1 percent decline in the energy sector as oil prices fell. However, the technology sector's 0.3 percent rise put it on track to break its nine day losing streak."Despite the rhetoric that comes out of any political event, if you have good economic data and decent earnings, (the market will) overcome the day-to-day dynamics of macro policy and political risk," said Nathan Thooft, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston Massachusetts.
A report from the University of Michigan showed that U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly strengthened in April as consumer optimism on current economic conditions climbed to its strongest level since November 2000.Trading volumes are likely to be weak on Thursday ahead of the Good Friday holiday.Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,820 to 989. On the Nasdaq, 1,675 issues fell and 1,041 advanced.The S&P 500 index showed five 52-week highs and one low, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 highs and 42 lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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Updated Date: Apr 13, 2017 23:15 PM