US Stock Indexes Head Mostly Lower on Mixed Company Earnings

AP Photo by Richard Drew
In this April 11, 2019, file photo trader Peter Castelli works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, April 18.

U.S. stock indexes moved mostly lower in early trading Thursday as investors weighed the latest batch of company earnings.

Losses in health care, technology and financial stocks outweighed gains in industrial companies and elsewhere in the market.

Drugmaker Pfizer fell 2.9%, PayPal dropped 2.8% and Regions Financial slid 3.1%.

Industrial sector stocks led the gainers following solid quarterly reports from several companies. Snap-on surged 8.8% and Honeywell International gained 3.2%.

Investors are poring over company earnings reports this week, focusing on companies' profit and revenue outlooks for the rest of this year. Analysts expect the first quarter results for S&P 500 companies overall to be the weakest in nearly three years.

Traders were also looking over some mixed reports on the economy. The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales surged in March at the fastest pace since late 2017. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported U.S. and Chinese negotiators are planning two more rounds of meetings aimed at ending a tariff war over Beijing's technology ambitions.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 was down 0.1% as of 10:25 Eastern Time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45 points, or 0.2%, to 26,495. The Nasdaq composite slid 0.3% and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gave up 0.4%.

Major European stock indexes were mostly higher.

DISSAPOINTING RESULTS: KeyCorp fell 2.8% after the bank's latest quarterly snapshot missed analysts' targets as income from fees declined.

MIXED RESULTS: American Express rose 0.9% after the credit card issuer reported lower earnings in the first quarter, but still beat analysts' estimates. The company's revenue fell short of Wall Street's forecasts.

CHUGGING AHEAD: Union Pacific gained 4.3% after the railroad's first quarter profit climbed 6% even though the company hauled 2% fewer carloads and dealt with massive flooding. Union Pacific's earnings topped analysts' estimates, though its revenue declined, falling short of the Street's forecasts.

SOMETHING TO BUILD ON: United Rentals surged 9.2% after the construction equipment rental company's first quarter results beat Wall Street's expectations.

ECONOMIC DATA: The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales surged in March at the fastest pace since late 2017, driven by increased spending on autos, gasoline, furniture and clothing.

The gains mark a sharp rebound from a lackluster period of sales dating back to December. It's a sign that the healthy job market has likely made consumers more eager to spend in ways that boost overall economic growth.

US-CHINA TRADE: The Wall Street Journal reported U.S. and Chinese negotiators are planning two more rounds of meetings aimed at ending a tariff war over Beijing's technology ambitions.

The newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said the two sides are aiming for a signing ceremony in late May or early June.

The countries have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods, rattling global financial markets. Washington and other trading partners say Beijing's plans for state-led creation of Chinese competitors in robotics and other technologies violate its market-opening commitments.

 

By AP reporter Alex Veiga

 

Categories: Finance, National News, Today’s Business News

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