SP 500 ekes out gain though profit worries weigh

July 10
11:27 2019

The S&P 500 ended slightly higher on Tuesday as gains in tech-related shares offset worries about a weakening outlook for earnings.

Gains in, Facebook Inc and Apple gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, which ended the day up 0.5 percent.

Netflix also rose, ending up 1 percent, after Cowen and Co said the video streaming services provider would benefit from high viewership for

the recently released third series of its original show “Stranger Things”.

Investors braced for remarks this week from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during his two-day testimony before Congress, which

starts on Wednesday. Also due on Wednesday is the central bank’s June policy meeting minutes.

Wall Street’s main indexes have retreated from their record closing highs after a robust June jobs report on Friday tempered expectations of an

aggressive 50-basis-point interest rate cut by the Fed.

“There may be some clarity coming out in the next couple of days based on what Powell says at these hearings,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior

vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

“The 10-year (Treasury) yield has just plummeted,” he said. “With flatter earnings coming into the third quarter, we’ve seen the PE multiple

expansion courtesy of these lower rates.”

Trade tensions and their effect on corporate America will be front and centre when S&P 500 companies kick off the second-quarter earnings

season next week.

RBC Capital Markets downgraded 3M Co to “sector perform,” citing macro pressures from China, auto and electronics sectors. The industrial

conglomerate’s shares fell 2.1 percent, while the S&P industrial index ended down 0.2 percent.

Analysts’ forecasts for S&P 500 companies profits weakened further Tuesday, with second-quarter earnings now expected to have fallen 0.2

percent from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.65 points, or 0.08 percent, to 26,783.49, the S&P 500 gained 3.68 points, or 0.12 percent, to 2,979.63 and the Nasdaq Composite added 43.35 points, or 0.54 percent, to 8,141.73.

In another sign of the trade war’s impact, Germany’s BASF forecast a 30 percent fall in its adjusted annual profit, citing trade friction.

The United States and China are set to relaunch trade talks this week after a two-month hiatus. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow

said discussions with the European Union on a trade pact were also progressing.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.02-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.10-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 29 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 52 new highs and 49 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 5.77 billion shares, compared to the 6.74 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

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