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S&P 500, Nasdaq edge lower in profit taking

S&P 500, Nasdaq edge lower in profit taking

NEW YORK: US stocks were mostly lower early Friday, joining overseas markets in a pullback attributed to profit taking after solid gains earlier in the week fueled by better-than-expected banking earnings.

About 20 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was essentially flat, up 0.75 point at 17,927.18.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 1.45 (0.07 percent) at 2,081.33, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 7.91 (0.16 percent) to 4,937.98.

Heading into Friday, the S&P 500 was up 1.7 percent for the week.

“The opening indication follows form with major foreign markets, most of which have also been hit with some modest profit taking after a big week of gains,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare.

Official data showed that Chinese growth in the first quarter came in at 6.7 percent, the slowest rate in seven years.

However, analysts pointed to some positive signs in the data, such as a 6.8 percent surge in industrial output, suggesting the world’s second-biggest economy had bottomed out.

Citigroup rose 2.5 percent as it reported a 26.6 percent drop in first-quarter profits to $3.5 billion in results that bested expectations. The giant bank increased its reserves for bad energy loans by $233 million.

Big-box chain Costco Wholesale rose 0.7 percent as it lifted its quarterly dividend by five cents to 45 cents per share.

Petroleum producers were lower as oil prices retreated. Dow member Chevron lost 0.8 percent, ConocoPhillips 1.1 percent and Anadarko Petroleum 2.2 percent.

Offshore driller Ensco tumbled 10.4 percent to $9.48 as it priced an offering of 57 million new shares at $9.25 per share.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016

Courtesy : BRecorder



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