Mid-Day Update: US Stocks Little Changed as Earnings Reports Fail to Trigger Broader Market Reaction
US stocks were little changed Wednesday at midday as corporate earnings reports failed to spark much of a reaction in the overall market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell fractionally, weighed down by losses in IBM (IBM) and health care stocks UnitedHealth (UNH) and Merck (MRK). IBM posted mixed quarterly results Tuesday after the close, with revenue falling below analyst estimates. IBM was down 3% at mid-day. The S&P 500 slipped 0.2% while the Nasdaq Composite Index was off fractionally.
Health care and real estate stocks were the biggest drags on the S&P 500. Shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 fell 2% while real estate shed 1%.
Health care stocks have been under pressure as investors worry about the possibility of Medicare for All, a hallmark of Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. RBC Capital Markets said in a note to investors that such a proposal "is highly unlikely," but that "the rhetoric will likely continue from left-leaning progressive candidates in the Democratic Party, which could continue to drive near-term stock price volatility, perhaps until we have a clearer picture over the eventual Democratic presidential nominee."
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures rose 0.03% to $64.07 per barrel. Natural gas was down 1.9% to $2.52 per 1 million BTU. Gold futures slipped 0.1% to $1,276.20 an ounce, while silver fell fractionally to $14.91 an ounce.
Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.1% to $13.36 while the United States Natural Gas Fund was down 1.9% to $22.22. Among precious-metal funds, the Vectors Gold Miners ETF fell 1% to $21.60 while SPDR Gold Shares slipped 0.2% to $120.26. The iShares Silver Trust was down about 0.5% to $14.
Here's where the markets stood at mid-day Wednesday:
NYSE Composite Index was down 34.87 points (-0.27%) to 12,917.37
Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 9.38 points (-0.04%) to 26,443.28
S&P 500 was down 4.20 points (-0.14%) to 2,902.86
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.84 points (-0.04%) to 7,997.39
FTSE 100 was up 1.40 points (+0.02%) to 7,471.32
DAX was up 51.75 points (+0.43%) to 12,153.07
CAC 40 was up 34.42 points (+0.62%) to 5,563.09
Nikkei 225 was up 56.31 points (+0.25%) to 22,277.97
Hang Seng Index was down 5.19 points (-0.02%) to 30,124.68
Shanghai China Composite Index was up 9.52 points (+0.29%) to 3,263.12
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Sector Index was up 52.60 points (+0.48%) to 10,964.61
NYSE Financial Sector Index was down 16.85 points (-0.21%) to 7,992.82
NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was down 300.04 points (-1.94%) to 15,134.99
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