Emerging stocks jump, US shares lower
NEW YORK: US stocks opened lower yesterday, weighed down by earnings reports from some big names and concerns over President Donald Trump's ability to push through his pro-growth policies, following a setback to the healthcare bill.
Shares of Bank of America slipped 0.8 percent, while Goldman Sachs was down 0.9 percent after reporting quarterly results. Last week, shares of JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup had taken a beating after their quarterly results and forecasts failed to excite investors.
Harley-Davidson slumped 9.6 percent after the motorcycle maker cut its 2017 shipments forecast.
The healthcare sector will be under scrutiny after the Republican healthcare bill to replace Obamacare sank in the Senate, with news that two Republican senators would not support the latest version of the bill.
The healthcare bill failure spelled uncertainty for President Donald Trump's agenda of tax reform and an infrastructure overhaul, leaving the president without any major legislative accomplishments six months into his tenure.
News on the healthcare bill sent the US dollar to a 10-month low against a basket of major currencies. "Investor sentiment is pessimistic this morning," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets UK. "The fiasco of the healthcare bill means that the tax reforms or the so called infrastructure spending plan are in jeopardy."
UnitedHealth Group fell 0.2 percent, while Johnson and Johnson fell 0.4 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 61.69 points, or 0.29 percent, at 21,568.03, the S&P 500 was down 5.71 points, or 0.23 percent, at 2,453.43. The Nasdaq Composite was down 16.48 points, or 0.26 percent, at 6,297.95.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with the healthcare index's 0.50 percent fall leading the decliners. As the earnings season gets under way, the market will be keeping a close eye on corporate results to see if the high valuations are justified in the face of mixed economic data, tepid inflation and policy gridlock in Washington.
Analysts' are estimating an 8.2 percent rise in second-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 companies from a year earlier. This follows a robust first quarter when US companies posted their best earnings since 2011.
IBM, United Continental Holdings, CSX and Navient are among the companies scheduled to report results after the bell. Netflix jumped 8.8 percent after the streaming-television pioneer's added more subscribers than expected in the second quarter.
Emerging stocks flirted with 27-month highs yesterday while currencies firmed a touch as the dollar traded at 10-month lows after the collapse of a key US healthcare bill raised doubts about President Donald Trump's reform agenda. MSCI's benchmark emerging stocks index held at levels not seen since end-April 2015, still underpinned by Monday's solid Chinese economic growth data, which beat consensus forecasts and showed firmer exports and production.
Chinese mainland shares rose 0.3 percent after falling 1.4 percent on Monday due to a sharp selloff in small caps, and Hong Kong gained 0.2 percent.
Russian dollar-denominated stocks also rose 0.4 percent, helped by higher oil prices. But gains were offset by losses in other markets. Turkish stocks fell 0.5 percent and Indian shares slipped 0.6 percent from the record highs hit in the previous session. Higher taxes on cigarette makers clobbered index heavyweight ITC.
Both the South African rand and Turkish lira held near two-week highs. On Monday Turkey extended emergency rule for another three months, almost a year after it was imposed in the wake of last July's failed military coup. The Hungarian forint was steady against the euro ahead of a central bank meeting at which it is expected to keep rates on hold at record lows of 0.9 percent.
The International Bank of Azerbaijan, the country's biggest state-run bank, will announce full voting results from creditors on its proposed $3.3 billion debt restructuring after a claimants' meeting later in the day.
Meanwhile President Trump has threatened "strong and swift economic actions" if Venezuela goes ahead with plans to create a Constituent Assembly with powers to rewrite the constitution and annul the opposition-led legislature. —
NEW YORK: Trader Andrew Silverman (right) works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Stocks opened slightly lower on Wall Street, led by declines in phone and technology companies. — AP