Wall Street mixed as shutdown, trade tensions dampen upbeat earnings

(Reuters) – Wall Street ended slightly higher on Wednesday after a spate of upbeat earnings reports, but lingering concerns about trade tensions and the longest U.S. government shutdown ever limited the advance.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

All three major U.S. stock indexes closed in positive territory, with the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average seeing the biggest gains on positive quarterly results from International Business Machines (IBM.N), Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) and United Technologies (UTX.N).

Investor sentiment was dampened by reports that business leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, were losing confidence in President Donald Trump’s policies that have resulted in the prolonged U.S.-China trade stand-off.

Uncertainty persisted in Washington, where no end to the longest-ever federal government shutdown appeared to be in sight.

The United States could see zero growth in the first quarter if the shutdown extends through March, according to White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett on Wednesday.

“The headlines coming out of Davos are rehashing some of the pessimism,” said Matthew Keator, partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts.

“We are in a more anxious market here, coming off the lows of the fourth quarter,” Keator added. “People’s wounds are still fresh.”

Still, a spate of positive earnings helped boost the Dow.

IBM provided the biggest boost to the Dow, rising 8.5 percent after cloud and software services helped its profit come in above analyst estimates and the company offered better-than-expected guidance for 2019.

Procter & Gamble advanced 4.9 percent after the company upped its full-year sales forecast and took advantage of price increases and strong demand to beat analyst earnings estimates.

United Technologies reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and

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Trump, in a bind on trade, will determine the direction of the stock market

President Trump is facing a conundrum. He watches the stock market carefully. An easy way for him to prop up the stock market is to enter into a soft trade deal with China and declare victory.

However, that is clearly not in the long-term national interest. If Trump stays true to the long-term national interest and there is no deal with China soon, the stock market will go down and Trump may not even get re-elected.

If Trump strikes a soft deal and gives up on the long-term national interest, the stock market will go up and Trump may get re-elected. Herein lies the conundrum.

The stock market is myopic and has become a short-term casino to some extent due to the momo (momentum) crowd. This is the present reality. You cannot change it. What should investors do? That is the key question. Let’s explore with the help of a chart.

The chart

Please click here for an annotated chart of S&P 500 ETF SPY, -0.21% Similar conclusions can be drawn from charts of the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.38% Nasdaq-100 ETF QQQ, -0.35% and the iShares Russell 2000 ETF IWM, -0.61% Please note the following:

• The chart shows that the market is in the resistance zone.

• Volatility in the resistance zone is normal.

• The chart shows that the market has not decisively broken the down trendline.

• The chart shows the Arora signal to buy ETF SPY or leveraged S&P 500 ETF SSO, -0.45% which moves at twice pace of the S&P 500 Index SPX, -0.14% This signal was given on Christmas Eve, which turned out to be the exact bottom.

• The chart shows that an overbought condition has been temporarily relieved and this potentially sets up the market for a rally after a

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Nasdaq goes $20M deep in support of enterprise blockchain startup

Blockchain startup Symbiont has raised a $20m Series B as traditional exchanges from across the world look to capitalize on enterprise solutions leveraging decentralized ledger technology.

The startup’s round was led by Nasdaq Ventures and drew support from new investors including Citi, Raptor Group and Galaxy Digital.

Symbiont, which will use the cash to boost its proprietary platform and team, has developed Assembly, a permissioned enterprise blockchain and smarts contract platform.

Assembly can be used to create digital versions of financial instruments such as securities and loans, allowing new participants to enter the digital asset market.

Today’s raise brings Symbiont’s total to $36 million. Existing shareholders in the company include Medici Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and Overstock.com’s blockchain investment branch.

Gary Offner, head of Nasdaq Ventures, said Symbiont’s enterprise blockchain would be integrated into the Nasdaq Financial Framework.  

The news comes a day after the London Stock Exchange announced that it would provide its trading technology for AAX, a new cryptocurrency exchange set to be launched in Hong Kong by ATOM Group, a local FinTech firm.

Public blockchains such as Bitcoin’s may have been invented with the sole purpose of circumventing mainstream finance, but it seems traditional exchanges such as Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange are increasingly partnering with blockchain companies in a bid to explore the technology’s viability.

Other tech giants developing private blockchains, which are being piloted for different use cases, include IBM and R3.

Published January 23, 2019 — 17:26 UTC

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Stocks turn lower on U.S. shutdown, growth, trade worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A global index of stock markets turned negative on Wednesday as worries over U.S. politics, global economic growth and trade tensions offset a boost from quarterly earnings reports. The U.S. dollar and oil prices also declined.

People walk past the London Stock Exchange Group offices in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

U.S. Treasury yields climbed but analysts expect the $15.6 trillion market to be confined within a tight trading range due to a dearth of incentives from fresh economic data amid the longest-ever U.S. government shutdown.

The U.S. dollar failed to maintain small gains from earlier in the session as uncertainties kept investors on the sidelines and the yen fell after the Bank of Japan kept its stimulus program in place.

“The trade conflicts and tensions, the (U.S. government) shutdown and certainly more chatter about global growth in 2019, those are the factors that need to be hashed out before we get a clear direction,” said Minh Trang, senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California.

After falling more than 1 percent a day ago, Wall Street’s three major equity indexes erased earlier gains to turn negative. Strong quarterly reports from Procter & Gamble PG.N, Comcast Corp and International Business Machines offered some support.

But U.S. political uncertainty weighed heavily on investors.

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said in a CNN interview the United States could see zero growth in the first three months if the partial government shutdown is extended for the whole quarter.

“It’s another kick in the shins for investors to be concerned about,” said Chad Morganlander, senior portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors in Florham Park, New Jersey.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 74.9 points, or 0.31 percent, to 24,329.58, the S&P 500

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Stocks waver between good earnings, global growth worries

U.S. stocks wavered Wednesday as strong earnings boosted traders’ sentiment, but global growth worries remained a drag on the market.

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Investors digested better-than-expected results from Dow components IBM, United Technologies and Procter & Gamble.

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Comcast reported quarterly revenue and profit above analysts’ estimates on Wednesday, as it lost fewer video subscribers than expected and grew its broadcast television and theme parks businesses.

United Technologies topped quarterly expectations and forecast 2019 earnings above estimates, boosted by the acquisition of aircraft parts maker Rockwell Collins.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 24494.27 +89.79 +0.37% SP500 S&P 500 2629.66 -3.24 -0.12% I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 7000.9445 -19.41 -0.28%

Procter & Gamble raised its full-year sales forecast and beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Wednesday, driven by price increases and robust demand for detergent and premium skin care brands.

However, China’s economy cooled in the fourth quarter — at the slowest pace since the financial crisis — under pressure from lower domestic demand and the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Along with Europe’s weakening economy and worries about Brexit, investors traded cautiously.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg CMCSA COMCAST CORP. 36.67 +1.70 +4.86% UTX UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION 116.34 +5.28 +4.75% PG PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY 94.43 +3.99 +4.41% IBM INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. 132.80 +10.28 +8.39%

In European trading, London’s FTSE closed down 0.9 percent, Germany’s DAX fell by 0.2 percent and France’s CAC slipped 0.2 percent.

In Asia on Wednesday, China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.1 percent.

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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ticked up less than 0.1 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei ended down 0.1 percent.

FOX BUSINESS’ Ken Martin contributed to this report.

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Altria, Amdocs Slide Into Wednesday’s 52-Week Low Club

January 22, 2019: Here are four stocks trading with heavy volume among 40 equities that have posted new 52-week lows by the noon hour Wednesday. On the New York Stock Exchange, decliners led advancers by about 1.57 to 1 and decliners led advancers on the Nasdaq by about 1.37 to 1.

The three major indexes are trading mixed, with the Dow Jones industrials up slightly and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite down less than 0.5%. Crude oil traded down about 1.3% on the day at $52.31 a barrel. Gold was trading up less than 0.1% at $1,284.00 for the day.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) traded down about 1% to post a new 52-week low of $44.51 Wednesday, after closing at $44.97 on Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week high is $71.86. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 11.4 million. The company’s stock was dropped from Equalweight to Underweight and the price target was cut from $54 to $45 at Morgan Stanley on Tuesday.

Amdocs Ltd. (NASDAQ: DOX) dropped 13% Wednesday to set a new 52-week low of $52.60. Shares closed at $60.47 on Tuesday, and the stock’s 52-week high is $71.72. Volume was about seven times the daily average of about 880,000. Short seller Spruce Point Capital said this morning that it sees a 50% downside risk to the company’s stock.

Quotient Technology Inc. (NYSE: QUOT) traded down about 18.5% to post a new 52-week low of $9.00 Wednesday, after closing at $11.04 on Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week high is $15.98, and volume was nearly eight times the daily average of around 530,000. The consumer products marketing firm issued weak preliminary after markets closed Tuesday.

Grupo Televisa SAB (NYSE: TV) traded down nearly 5% Wednesday and posted a new 52-week low of $11.39, after

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Dow's gain bucks negative broad-market breadth data

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.40% rose 24 points in afternoon trade, defying the negative breadth in the broader market, as the sharp gains in three Dow components were enough to keep the blue-chip barometer in positive territory. Of the Dow’s 30 components, 21 were trading lower. But the stock price gains for International Business Machines Corp. IBM, +8.26% United Technologies Corp. UTX, +4.88% and Procter & Gamble Co. PG, +4.15% after upbeat earnings reports added about 121 points to the Dow’s price. Meanwhile, the number of declining stocks lead advancers 1,699 to 1,095 on the NYSE and 1,601 to 1,153 on the Nasdaq exchange. The volume of declining stocks represented 58.8% of total volume on the Big Board and 65.2% of total volume on the Nasdaq. While the Dow gained, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.08% declined 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.27% shed 0.5%.

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Markets Right Now: Stocks turn lower on Wall Street

The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Stocks are turning slightly lower on Wall Street, giving up an early gain, as health care companies and banks fall.

Drug and infant formula maker Abbott Laboratories is leading health care stocks lower Wednesday after its sales fell short of Wall Street estimates.

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Energy companies are down as the price of crude oil falls for the third time in four days after a strong start to 2019.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had jumped 296 points earlier as investors cheered strong earnings from IBM, Proctor & Gamble and United Technologies.

The S&P 500 fell 14 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,618.

The Dow fell 42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,357. The Nasdaq lost 49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,972.

___

9:35 a.m.

Stocks are rising at the opening bell following solid results from a string of companies including IBM and Procter & Gamble.

Technology and consulting company IBM rose 7.2 percent Wednesday after it topped Wall Street’s expectations in the fourth quarter. Consumer products maker Proctor & Gamble jumped 6.4 percent.

Elevator and jet engine maker United Technologies climbed 6.1 percent.

The S&P 500 index added 15 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,648 after it fell 1.4 percent Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 251 points, or 1 percent, to 24,655. The Nasdaq composite gained 44 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,064.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.77 percent.

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US stocks slide as health care and energy companies slip

Stocks are lower in early afternoon trading on Wall Street Wednesday after giving up an early gain.

Energy companies are down as the price of crude oil falls for the third time in four days after a strong start to 2019.

Drug and infant formula maker Abbott Laboratories is leading health care stocks lower after its sales fell short of Wall Street’s estimates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had jumped 296 points earlier as investors cheered strong fourth-quarter earnings reports from companies including IBM, consumer products maker Proctor & Gamble, and manufacturer United Technologies.

Digital Access for only $0.99

For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.

#ReadLocal

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index lost 17 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,615 as of 12:15 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 70 points, or 0.3 percent, to 24,333. The Nasdaq composite fell 56 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,963. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 11 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,446.

The S&P 500 fell 1.4 percent Tuesday as investors reacted to signs of slower global economic growth, including a weakened forecast from the International Monetary Fund. They also worried about possible trouble in trade talks between the U.S. and China.

QUARTERLY QUEASINESS: Abbott, which makes Ensure and Pedialyte nutritional shakes, heart devices and medications, fell 3.1 percent to $69.30 after its revenue disappointed investors. Credit card issuer Capital One shed 6.5 percent to $78.01 after its profit and revenue both fell short of expectations.

EARN, BABY, EARN: IBM rocketed 7.56 percent to $131.88 after its fourth-quarter results surpassed Wall Street estimates. Investors were also pleased with the company’s forecasts for 2019. BMO Research analyst Keith Bachman said critical

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Stocks turn lower on Wall Street

The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Stocks are turning slightly lower on Wall Street, giving up an early gain, as health care companies and banks fall.

Drug and infant formula maker Abbott Laboratories is leading health care stocks lower Wednesday after its sales fell short of Wall Street estimates.

Digital Access for only $0.99

For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.

#ReadLocal

Energy companies are down as the price of crude oil falls for the third time in four days after a strong start to 2019.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had jumped 296 points earlier as investors cheered strong earnings from IBM, Proctor & Gamble and United Technologies.

The S&P 500 fell 14 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,618.

The Dow fell 42 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,357. The Nasdaq lost 49 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,972.

___

9:35 a.m.

Stocks are rising at the opening bell following solid results from a string of companies including IBM and Procter & Gamble.

Technology and consulting company IBM rose 7.2 percent Wednesday after it topped Wall Street’s expectations in the fourth quarter. Consumer products maker Proctor & Gamble jumped 6.4 percent.

Elevator and jet engine maker United Technologies climbed 6.1 percent.

The S&P 500 index added 15 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,648 after it fell 1.4 percent Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 251 points, or 1 percent, to 24,655. The Nasdaq composite gained 44 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,064.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.77 percent.

Read More Here...