The S&P 500 ends down with the banks mostly lower, the indices make weekly gains

  • JPMorgan, Wells Fargo end nearly flat after Q2 results
  • UnitedHealth rally on 2nd quarter earnings beat
  • Dow up 0.3%, S&P 500 down 0.1%, Nasdaq down 0.2%

NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Friday, with banking and financial stocks mostly lower on the day after quarterly reports kicked off the earnings season, but all three major U.S. stock indexes posted solid weekly gains.

Offsetting some of the declines, UnitedHealth Group ( UNH.N ) shares rose after its stronger-than-expected results.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase ( JPM.N ) rose 0.6% and Wells Fargo ( WFC.N ) fell 0.3%, while the S&P 500 banking index ( .SPXBK ) fell 0.9%. Both major banks reported higher quarterly profits, but said they have set aside more money for expected losses from commercial real estate loans.

The biggest moves on the benchmark index were the energy sector (.SPNY), down 2.8%, and financials (.SPSY), down 0.7%.

UnitedHealth shares rose 7.2%, helping the Dow end higher. Shares of other health insurers also rose, with Humana ( HUM.N ) ending up 2.5% and Cigna ( CI.N ) up 4.7%.

“We’re up significantly year-to-date, and that was in anticipation of better-than-expected earnings,” said Oliver Pursche, senior vice president and advisor for Wealthspire Advisors in Westport, Conn.

“What we’re seeing now and will likely continue to see through the end of the summer is some fatigue and a lack of conviction that stocks can go significantly higher.”

Today’s quarterly reports unofficially kicked off the second quarter US earnings season. Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to have fallen 8.1% in the quarter from a year ago, according to Refintiiv data, but the majority of companies tend to beat expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 113.89 points, or 0.33%, to 34,509.03, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 4.62 points, or 0.10%, to 4,505.42 and Nasdaq Composite (.2IXIC) 7 points. 0.18% to 14,113.70.

For the week, the Dow was up 2.3%, the S&P 500 was up 2.4% and the Nasdaq was up 3.3%. The S&P 500 is still up 17% year to date.

Among other financial company reports, Citigroup ( CN ) shares fell 4% after the lender’s quarterly earnings fell, while BlackRock ( BLK.N ) was down 1.5% after it posted a drop in quarterly revenue.

Some strategists said bank stocks may have sold off after the recent strong rally.

The S&P banks index snapped a five-session winning streak along with the KBW Regional Banks Index (.KRX), which was down 1.9% on the day.

An index of high-profile technology-related stocks (.NYFANG) was down a day after posting a record close.

Tesla ( TSLA.O ), whose shares rose 1.3%, is the first of the growth giants to report, with earnings expected on Wednesday.

Volume on US exchanges was 10.72 billion shares, compared to the 11.04 billion average for the full session over the past 20 trading days.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 2.73 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a 2.33 to 1 ratio favored decliners.

S&P 500 posted 40 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows; The Nasdaq Composite recorded 97 new highs and 60 new lows.

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Johann M Cherian and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty, Sriraj Kalluvila, Maju Samuel, Vinay Dwivedi and David Gregorio

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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