Energy and financial stocks among the largest decliners
US stocks fell on Thursday, 13 April 2017 to close at session lows, cementing a three-day losing streak and a decline for the holiday-shortened week as investors dealt with the start of earnings season and intensifying geopolitical jitters. The U.S. dropping the largest nonnuclear weapon in its arsenal on a complex of caves in Afghanistan did little to encourage traders into a buying mood, with stocks extending losses after reports of the bombing mission.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 138.61 points, or 0.7%, to close at its session low at 20,453.25. The Nasdaq Composite fell 31.01 points, or 0.5%, to close at a session low of 5,805.15. The S&P 500 index dropped 15.98 points, or 0.7%, to its session low of 2,328.95. For the week, the Dow fell 1%, the S&P 500 dropped 1.1%, and the Nasdaq fell 1.2%.
11 of the index's sectors finished lower, with energy and financial stocks among the largest decliners. Shares of Chevron and Caterpillar led declines.
JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo kicked off the earnings season on Thursday morning with some better than expected results. All three companies beat earnings expectations. Wells Fargo's revenue fell short of forecasts, and the bank remains stuck in the spotlight for its recent sales-practices scandal. In the end, the financial sector finished the day solidly lower, but it was not the worst performing sector.
In recent days, trading has also been marked by concerns over the crisis in Syria and heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
In the latest economic data, weekly first-time jobless claims fell slightly in the latest week, dropping to 234,000. Separately, the producer-price index fell 0.1% in March, though core PPIwhich excludes food, energy, and tradewas up 0.1%.
Separately, a preliminary reading of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan also came in at a reading of 98 in April from 96.9 in March, better than Wall Street expectations.
Bullion prices ended higher at Comex on Thursday, 13 April 2017. Gold and silver prices notched their third straight session climb on Thursday, bolstered as the U.S. dollar fell.
June gold advanced by $10.40, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,288.50 an ounce, with prices ending at their highest level since Nov. 4. For the week, the yellow metal gained roughly 2.5%, based on last Friday's settlement. Silver for May delivery climbed 21 cents, or 1.2%, to $18.51 an ounce.
Those prices were pulled higher, while the U.S. dollar was pushed down against most rivals late Wednesday after President Trump reportedly told that the U.S. currency is getting too strong and he would prefer the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low. The dollar touched a five-month low against the yen. The ICE Dollar declined to a roughly two-week low after Trump's comment, though pared some of those losses by the time gold settled.
A weaker greenback tends to lift prices for dollar-denominated commodities as it makes them cheaper for holders of other currencies to buy.
Oil prices posted a slight gain on Thursday, 13 April 2017 at Nymex notching a third consecutive weekly advance, as traders continued to weigh the prospects and timing for a balance between supply and demand in the market.
On Thursday, data revealed that the number of active U.S. oil rigs has climbed for a 13th week in a row, feeding concerns over growth in domestic crude output.
Crude oil for May delivery rose 7 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $53.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It settled 1.8% above last Friday's finish. Brent for June added 3 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $55.89 a barrelup about 1.2% for the week. Still, prices spent much of Thursday wavering between slight losses and gains.
Trading volumes were light on Thursday, in advance of market closures in observance of Good Friday, and ahead of Easter.
On Monday, participants will receive April Empire Manufacturing at 8:30 ET, the April NAHB Housing Price Index at 10:00 ET, and April Net Long-Term TIC Flows at 16:00 ET.
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