US stocks fluctuate as traders weigh earnings

Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co’s shares fell after missing expectation.

Jul 13, 2018 02:07 IST India Infoline News Service

Stocks struggled for direction as lingering concern about the trade war between the US and China cast a cloud over the start of earnings season. The dollar and Treasuries advanced.

The S&P 500 Index inched lower as banks and telecommunications firms weighed on the benchmark. Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co’s shares fell after missing expectations, while AT&T Inc’s stock slumped after the Justice Department said it will appeal an anti-trust ruling in favor of the company.

The dollar headed for its largest weekly gain in a month, while the 10-year Treasury yield was on track for its first weekly advance in five. The pound fell toward a two-week low after President Donald Trump warned UK Prime Minister Theresa May that her Brexit proposal -- already facing an uphill battle for European Union approval -- could “kill” any future US trade deal.

“Investors were at least looking at banks to see if there was going to be something disappointing in their earnings that for them they would say trade talks or anything like that are not only pointing to weakness in the overall global economy, but weakness in the US economy, and I don’t think we saw that,” Shawn Cruz, TD Ameritrade’s manager of trader strategy, said by phone.

“But I think we’re going to have to get a little further into earnings season before we get something meaningful one way or the other in terms of investor sentiment,” Cruz added.

Traders will feel some relief as earnings season gets underway in earnest, allowing attention to pivot away from trade relations. The latter seemed to ease somewhat, with officials in Beijing appearing to moderate their responses to Trump’s tariff threats amid a slowing economy, falling stock market and weakening currency. Still, China’s monthly trade surplus with the US rose to a record in June and exports to the nation also soared, underlining the cause of the escalating trade war.

Meanwhile, West Texas crude climbed back above $70 a barrel, but most metals declined, with gold heading for the lowest close in a year. Emerging-market shares extended gains to head for a first weekly advance in five.

  • The S&P 500 Index fell 0.1 % as of 10:11 am New York time
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.1%
  • The MSCI All-Country World Index dropped 0.1%
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index climbed 0.1%

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced 0.2% to the highest in more than a week
  • The euro decreased 0.3% to $1.1642, the weakest in more than a week
  • The British pound dipped 0.3% to $1.3167, the weakest in more than a week
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 112.51 per dollar

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped one basis point to 2.83%
  • Germany’s 10-year yield sank two basis points to 0.34%
  • Britain’s 10-year yield dipped one basis points to 1.273%

  • The Bloomberg Commodity Index declined 0.6%
  • West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.2% to $70.48 a barrel, the largest gain in a week
  • Gold fell 0.5 % to $1,241.71 an ounce, the weakest in about a year

Source: Bloomberg

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