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22.02.2019 05:19

Major US stock indexes finished trading in the red

Major US stock indices fell moderately, as disappointing macroeconomic data and sales of shares in the health sector and basic materials sector put pressure on the market.

The Philadelphia Fed Report showed that its business index deteriorated in February to -4.1 from 17.0 in January. The value was significantly lower than economists forecast 14.0. The decline was the largest monthly decline since August 2011.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce reported that orders for durable goods rose 1.2% in December after rising 1.0% in November (revised from 0.8%). However, economists had expected orders to increase by 1.5%. In December, orders for equipment fell by 0.4%. Orders for primary metals fell by 0.9%. Orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components have also declined.

In addition, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that home sales in the US secondary market fell by 1.2% to 4.94 million units on an annualized basis in January after a decline of 4.0% to 5.00 million in December. The continuing decline surprised economists, who expected sales in the secondary housing market to rise to 5.00 million, against 4.99 million, which were originally reported the previous week.

The data released by the Conference Board showed that in January, the Leading Indicators Index (LEI) for the United States decreased by 0.1%, to 111.3 (2016 = 100), after a zero change in December and an increase of 0.1 percent in November. Analysts had expected the index to increase by 0.1%.

Wall Street also continued to monitor the trade negotiations between the United States and China. Representatives from China and the United States meet again in Washington today. In the morning there was news that Washington and Beijing began to agree on principal obligations concerning the most acute issues of the trade dispute. This indicates the most significant progress in resolving the ongoing seven-month trade war. According to media reports, the parties are developing six memorandums of understanding on structural issues, including enforced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currencies, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade.

Most of the components of DOW recorded a decline (22 of 30). Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. was an outsider. (WBA, -1.89%). The growth leader was Microsoft Corp. (MSFT; + 2.14%).

Almost all sectors of the S & P finished trading in the red. The base materials sector fell the most (-1.1%). Only the utility sector grew (+ 0.7%).

At the time of closing:

Dow 25,850.63 -103.81 -0.40%

S & P 500 2,774.88  -9.82 -0.35%

Nasdaq 100 7,459.71 -29.36 -0.39%


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