Stocks Squeeze Out Thin Gains, Tech-Heavy Nasdaq Dips

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The Dow and S&P 500 barely squeezed in another record-setting close on Wednesday despite a significant sell-off in oil as signs of tame economic growth and expectations for upbeat Q2 earnings mitigated profit-taking pressure across Wall Street.

After struggling to remain positive for most of the day, equities were given a nudge higher late in the day on the latest Beige Book as the twelve Federal Reserve districts reported only "modest to moderate growth" with some Brexit-related pressures on certain U.S. businesses. And although the Nasdaq closed lower for only the second time in eleven days, the Dow and S&P closed up for a fourth consecutive day

Of the ten S&P 500 sectors, energy led the decliners, followed by losses in the consumer discretionary and technology sectors. Defensive sectors like telecoms and utilities outperformed, followed by gains in consumer staples.

European equities also come off their earlier highs in sympathy with the U.S as UK investors retreated to the sidelines ahead of Thursday's pivotal Bank of England meeting, the first since the UK vote to leave the European Union. Although the BOE is expected to lower interest rates for the first time in seven years, the cuts could be accompanied by dour projections of the UK as well as Euro-zone economies. Shares of exporters took the brunt of today's retracement in light of the recent rally in sterling.

Wednesday's economic data was also mildly supportive as import and export prices remained tame in June. Import prices were up 0.2% versus +0.5% expectations, while export prices rose 0.8%, beating +0.3% expectations.

Additionally, the Atlanta Fed business inflation survey revealed an expectation for inflation to decline to an annual pace of 1.7% from 1.8% previously.

Thursday's data includes weekly initial jobless claims and the producer price index. Also on the calendar are speeches from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and Kansas City Fed President Esther George.

Here's where the markets stood at the close:


Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 24.45 points (+0.13%)

S&P 500 was up 0.29 points (+0.01%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 17.09 points (+0.34%)


FTSE 100 was down 0.15%

Nikkei 225 was up 0.84%

Hang Seng Index was up 0.46%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.37%


(+) IMPR (+31.19%) To be acquired by Thoma Bravo for $544 million

(+) NETE (+15.05%) Announced $10 million stock purchase agreement with Esousa Holdings

(+) JUNO (+9.46%) FDA removed clinical hold on phase 2 trial of JCAR015 for treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia


(-) LEDS (-16.26%) Q2 sales and profit fell from year ago

(-) DNR (-8.72%) Lower in sympathy with oil

(-) MIK (-6.06%) Announced 11 million share offering, expects Q2 results in to lower-to-middle range of earlier outlook

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: NETE

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