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Dow, S&P 500 edge up as oil, growth worries weigh

Dow, S&P 500 edge up as oil, growth worries weigh

NEW YORK: The Dow and S&P 500 finished barely positive Tuesday as worries about falling oil prices and the slowing global economy tamped down an earlier rally.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27.94 points (0.17 percent) to 16,016.01, while the broad-based S&P 500 added a mere 1.00 (0.05 percent) at 1,881.33.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 11.47 (0.26 percent) at 4,476.07.

Following the stock market’s closure Monday for a public holiday, the session had started on a heady note, with US stocks joining a global rally on speculation that the Chinese government would enact more stimulus in response to slowing growth.

But the rally fizzled as worries about falling oil prices returned the forefront.

“We’re just sort of waiting for some stability,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.

Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, said expectations of a lackluster US corporate earnings season has discouraged stock purchases.

“My base case is muddle,” Ablin said. “Short of any upside surprises economically, we need to see equity prices fall another 10 percent.”

Petroleum-linked equities continued to stumble as US oil prices dropped.

Dow member Chevron lost 2.6 percent, Halliburton fell 3.4 percent and Marathon Oil lost 5.7 percent.

Delta Air Lines rose 3.3 percent after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of $980 million, compared with a loss of $712 million in the year-ago period. Results were boosted by a 42 percent drop in fuel expenses.

Twitter sank 7.0 percent after suffering an outage for hours in several key markets. A spokesperson for Twitter Europe confirmed the site was down, while users in South Africa, Brazil, the Philippines, Nigeria and Uganda also reported problems.

Tiffany fell 5.1 percent as it said worldwide net sales declined three percent in the key November-December period due in part to the strong dollar and weak tourist activity in some markets. The jeweller also lowered its earnings forecast, projecting a decline of 10 percent for the year, in part due to severance expenses from cutting staff.

Johnson & Johnson rose 0.5 percent as it announced it will cut 3,000 jobs to save costs in its medical devices business.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016

Courtesy : BRecorder



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