Corporate earnings drove some of today's biggest moves in stocks, though major US indexes remain little changed overall in the early afternoon, as investors mulled over both disappointing quarterly results and forecasts from several big companies and a mixed stimulus message from the ECB's Mario Draghi which spurred a slide in the Euro.
By Paolo Palazzi-Xirinachs
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Near midday, the Dow Jones industrial was flat, and the S&P 500 was down 0.11%. The Nasdaq also slid 0.17%.
Equities fell as lackluster forecasts from Nestle SA to EBay Inc. outweighed optimism with American Express Co. and Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s projections. Shares of the e-commerce giant eBay slumped 10.7% after the company reported disappointing fourth-quarter results. Verizon Communications stock also slid 2.6% after the company posted weak quarterly revenue as it added far fewer wireless and internet service subscribers than a year ago. Shares of rival AT&T, fell too, shedding 2%
Shares of the Dunkin’ Brands Group fell 3.1% after the chain’s latest quarterly revenue snapshot fell short of Wall Street’s expectations. The company also cut its forecast for sales growth. And, American Airlines stock slid 1% after the company said its latest quarterly earnings fell because of higher labor costs and declining revenue.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in five weeks but still remained close to the recent 43-year lows. Weekly applications for jobless benefits rose by 13K last week to 260K the Labor Department reported today. That was the highest level since an identical 260K claim applications were filed the week of Sept. 10. Since that time, claims had fallen to the lowest levels since November 1973. Even with last week's gain, claims, which are a proxy for layoffs, remain at levels indicating that workers are enjoying job security despite sluggish economic growth.
The euro fell after Mario Draghi said the region’s central bank hasn’t discussed extending or tapering stimulus. The European currency slid to the lowest since June, while German bond yields fell below zero on speculation traders will have to wait until at least December for news on policy changes. Oil also sank as Russia’s largest oil company said the country could boost production and Nigeria lowered prices for its crude.
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