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Mixed finish for US stocks

Capital Market 

books a second-straight weekly loss though

US stocks ended in a mixed note on Friday, 16 June 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday notched its 21st record of 2017 led by a late-stage rise in energy shares and as Amazon announced plans to buy Whole Foods in one of the buzziest mergers of 2017. However, the tech-heavy Composite ended lower and booked a second-straight weekly loss.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 24.38 points, or 0.1%, to 21,384.28, a new all-time high. For the week, the index climbed 0.5%. The S&P 500 ended less than a point higher at 2,433.14. The Composite dipped 13.74 points, or 0.2%, to 6,151.76 and lost 1% over the week, as technology stocks continued to come under pressure, amid concerns that that group is overvalued.

Dow's climb was on the back of a jump in shares of Chevron and Exxon Mobil gaining 1.9% and 1.5% respectively.

Six of the eleven sectors settled Friday's session in negative territory with the consumer staples sector (leading the retreat following news that Amazon plans to acquire Whole Foods Market for $42 per share (27.0% premium) in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $13.7 billion.

Big-box and grocery retailers like Wal-Mart, Costco and Kroger were among the consumer staples sector's weakest components as Amazon's move will likely increase competition within the space. Shares of Amazon.com rose 2.3% after the announcement, while shares of Whole Foods Market soared 29%.

Economic data on Friday showed that housing starts fell 5.5% to an annual rate of 1.09 million in May, the lowest level in eight months. Market had forecast starts at a 1.23 million pace. And the University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index fell to 94.5 in early June reading, the weakest since November.

Gains for the dollar faded, with the ICE U.S. Dollar Index which tracks the buck against a basket of six rivals, down 0.3%

Bullion prices ended mixed on Friday, 16 June 2017 in the wake of signals from the Federal Reserve for another increase to interest rates this year. Gold prices gained modestly in the short term, in part as a closely watched dollar index slipped, making the metal more attractive to investors using another currency. Downbeat U.S. data Friday, with construction for new houses down in May and a June drop in consumer sentiment, and optimism for China's economy after a round of monetary stimulus from its central bank, underpinned gold on Friday as well.

August gold tacked on $1.90, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,256.50. The metal suffered a 1.2% weekly decline. That marked back-to-back weekly losses for gold after last week's decline snapped a string of five-straight weekly gains.

July silver fell 5.5 cents, or 0.3%, to end at $16.661 an ounce, settling at its lowest in more than a month. The white metal declined 3.3% for the week.

Earlier this week, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her colleagues laid out a plan to shrink the central bank's massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet, one of its economy-spurring tools, starting this year, as they also raised a key U.S. interest rate.

Oil prices rebounded on Friday, 16 June 2017 after hitting their lowest settlement of 2017, but registered their fourth weekly loss in a rowthe longest such streak of declines in nearly two years. Data earlier in the week showing a rise in U.S. production and weak domestic gasoline demand fed concerns that the global energy market remains awash in surplus oil, keeping pressure on prices.

July West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 28 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $44.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while August Brent on London's ICE Futures exchange added 45 cents, or 1%, to $47.37 a barrel.

However, the gains weren't enough to bring the contracts into positive territory for the week, with WTI crude down 2.4% and Brent suffering a 1.6% weekly slide. That marked a fourth straight week of losses for both, and the longest weekly losing streak since August 2015 for WTI.

In the bond market, the 10-yr yield slipped one basis point to 2.15% while the 2-yr yield dropped three basis points to 1.33%.

On Monday, investors will receive the Current Account Balance (consensus -$123.4 billion) for the first quarter at 8:30 ET.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 19 2017. 11:31 IST
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