Midday Update: Benchmark Indices Back off Record Highs on Weak Housing Data

Buy or sell dice

The Dow was cautiously higher the day after crossing over the historic 20,000 milestone as mixed earnings and bearish housing and labor market data allowed the blue-chip index only marginal gains. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite retreated off their record highs as a result of pressure on the technology and health care sectors.

The flood of data this morning gave a mixed picture of the economy as jobless claims jumped a larger-than-expected 22,000 for the week ended Jan 21, but the purchasing manager's flash services sector index for January rose to 55.1, beating expectations for an increase to 54.4 from December's 53.9.

The Chicago Fed manufacturing index shot up to a positive 0.14 in December from a negative 0.33 the month prior while the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index improved to 20 from a revised 18 in December, previously reported as 24.

Wholesale inventories rose 1.0%, and leading economic indicators increased 0.5%, both of which were in-line with expectations.

But it was a 10.4% drop in new home sales in December that got Wall Street's attention as the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 536,000 last month was the third lowest of 2016. The decline also drove up the existing inventory of new homes as it will now take 5.8 months to exhaust the current supply of homes, up from 5.0 months in November.

In earnings news, Caterpillar ( CAT ) beat earnings estimates on below-consensus revenue and lowered its FY17 sales guidance, Ebay ( EBAY ) earnings topped estimates on revenue that was in-line with expectations, Ford ( F ) missed projections by a penny, while Dow Chemical ( DOW ) adjusted earnings and revenue topped Wall Street projections.

The UK benchmark index closed nearly flat with mixed earnings and unrevised Q4 GDP resulting in a three points loss at Thursday's close. The Euro Stoxx was marginally lower, but Germany's DAX ended up 0.26% higher thanks to a better-than-expected improvement in the German GfK consumer climate index.

Crude oil was up $1.12 to $53.87 per barrel. Natural gas was up $0.13 to $3.48 per 1 million BTU. Gold was down $12.00 to $1,185.80 an ounce, while silver was down $0.27 to $16.71 an ounce. Copper was down $0.05 to $2.66 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was up 2.17% to $11.56 with the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 3.58% to $8.69. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 2.88% to 22.80 while SPDR Gold Shares was down 1.18% $112.97. The iShares Silver Trust was down 1.51% to $15.86.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:


NYSE Composite Index was down 26.75 points (-0.24%) to 11,312.30

Dow Jones Industrial Index was up 46.13 points (+0.24%) to 20,115.41

S&P 500 was down 0.17 points (-0.01%) to 2,298.37

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.91 points (+0.03%) to 5,658.25


FTSE 100 was down 10.44 points (-0.15%) to 7,153.99

DAX was up 33.18 points (+0.28%) to 11,839.23

CAC 40 was down 17.51 points (-0.36%) to 4,860.16

Nikkei 225 was up 344.89 points (+1.81%) to 19,402.39

Hang Seng Index was up 325.05 points (+1.41%) to 23,374.17

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 9.61 points (+0.31%) to 3,159.17


NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 38.72 points (-0.34%) to 11,502.79

NYSE Financial Sector Index was up 4.24 points (+0.06%) to 7,170.80

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was down 7.42 points (-0.06%) to 11,912.24


(+) AVGR (+34.35%) Presents positive data from study of vascular technology

(+) URI (+12.43%) Reported better-than-expected Q4 results

(+) SHW (+8.61%) Q4 results beat expectations, Issued strong profit guidance for Q1 and FY17


(-) WRLD (-21.31%) Reported weak fiscal Q3 results

(-) DRWI (-16.67%) Reduced the exercise price of its outstanding short-term warrants

(-) MAT (-16.32%) Q4 sales and earnings missed Wall Street projections

(-) ENTL (-14.80%) Prices public offering of 3.5 million shares at 12.3% discount

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 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

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

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


Founded in 1999, MT Newswires (formerly known as Midnight Trader) is a leading provider of original source, multi-asset class, real-time, global financial news and information to most of the largest banks, brokerage firms and professional market data, trading & research applications in North America.

Learn More