U.S. Stocks Up Ahead of Close, but Treading Water on Investor Lack of Conviction

Positive performances in several sectors helped pull the S&P 500 Index out of correction territory, or a loss of 10 percent from its recent high. These sectors included real estate, communications and materials.
James Hyerczyk
Stocks Buy Sell Dice
Stocks Buy Sell Dice

The major stock indexes opened higher and have held on to most of their gains throughout the session. Traders said the market was being underpinned early in the pre-market futures session after China announced further steps to restore confidence in local markets. This move carried over to the U.S. session, helping the markets claw back some of yesterday’s losses.

At 1826 GMT, the benchmark S&P 500 Index is trading 2647.68, up 6.43 or +0.24%. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average is at 24564.61, up 121.69 or +0.50% and the tech-based NASDAQ Composite is at 7057.66, up 7.37 or +0.10%.

Positive performances in several sectors helped pull the S&P 500 Index out of correction territory, or a loss of 10 percent from its recent high. These sectors included real estate, communications and materials.

Stocks played a role in the positive performances in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite. Outperforming in the Dow were shares of Goldman Sachs, McDonald’s and Boeing. Shares of Intel and Comcast underpinned the NASDAQ.

There were no major U.S. reports today, however, lingering concerns over additional tariffs on China by the United States continue to discourage investors from buying enough to instill confidence in the market.

On the earnings front, Coca-Cola reported third-quarter gains that topped Wall Street estimates, driving shares up 1.6 percent. The company said sales of diet soda and higher prices helped the company top earnings and revenue projections for the quarter, boosting profit by 30 percent.

After the bell, Amgen, Baidu, eBay and Facebook are all set to release their results.

According to FactSet, with 279 of the companies in the S&P 500 having reported quarterly results, profits are expected to increase 23 percent from a year earlier.

Bad news continued to plague General Electric. The once stellar performer dropped more than 10 percent, dipping below $10 per share for the first time since 2009. Traders said the selling was fueled by two events.

Firstly, the company disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is expanding its probe into the company’s accounting practices.

Secondly, the company also announced it would slash its quarterly dividend to just a penny a share.

U.S. Economic News

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 137.9, higher than the 136 estimate. The index is at its highest level since September 2000. The company said the results reflect a hot labor market and expectations that economic growth will remain solid in the near term.

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