- Stocks turn lower
- US house prices rise by less than forecast
- Traders cautious ahead of Fed policy meeting
Dow Jones Industrials: -0.09%
Nasdaq Composite: 0.20%
S&P 500: -0.14%
US stocks turned lower ahead of tomorrow's Federal Reserve policy decision.
Better-than-expected results from pharmaceutical heavyweights Merck and Pfizer provided a boost to the market early on, but quickly fizzled out as traders reigned in their horns.
Merck's profits more than doubled in its second quarter, rising from $906m to $2bn. On an adjusted per-share basis, earnings totalled 85 cents, above the 81 cents expected. Sales fell 1% to $10.93bn but still beat forecasts.
Fellow drug-maker Pfizer also rose initially after surpassing analysts' predictions with its second-quarter results. However, gains were only limited as the company lowered its revenue guidance for the full year on the back of pressure from competition by generics.
Meanwhile, US house prices rose at an annual rate of just 9.3% in May, slowing from the 10.8% growth registered in April, according to the Case-Shiller 20-city composite index. Analysts had expected a 9.9% increase.
The US Conference Board's consumer confidence index for the month of July jumped to a reading of 90.9 from 86.4 in the month before (consensus: 85.4).
"The consumer is so important to the US economy right now that I would normally pay far more attention to this but yesterday's muted reaction to the services PMI suggests to me that this is unlikely to get much of a response either," said Alpari UK analyst Craig Erlam before today's report.
The Fed is monitoring market data closely to gauge the health of the US economy ahead of tomorrow's policy announcement.
The central bank is expected to shave a further $10bn off monthly bond purchases and keep interest rates unchanged.
From a sector stand-point the worst performance was to be seen amongst the following industrial groups: Delivery services (2.65%), Electronic Office Equipment (-1.64%) and Paper (-1.52%).
The 10-year government yield fell three basis points to 2.46%, following a solid result to the afternoon's Treasury auction of $35bn in 5-year debt.
Brent crude futures dropped 0.177% to $107.38 per barrel, according to the ICE.
S&P 500 - Risers
Frontier Communications Co. (FTR) $6.73 +13.30%
Windstream Holdings Inc (WIN) $11.79 +11.97%
Masco Corp. (MAS) $21.83 +7.70%
CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) $40.24 +6.71%
Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) $46.78 +4.14%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) $219.68 +4.13%
Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) $37.92 +3.81%
Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) $15.72 +3.73%
Range Resources Corp. (RRC) $78.82 +3.34%
Waste Management Inc. (WM) $45.28 +3.16%
S&P 500 - Fallers
Corning Inc. (GLW) $19.89 -9.80%
Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN) $82.31 -7.17%
Eaton Corporation plc (ETN) $71.31 -7.09%
GameStop Corp. (GME) $43.15 -6.36%
Harris Corp. (HRS) $68.44 -5.43%
Aetna Inc. (AET) $81.87 -3.48%
United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) $99.29 -3.28%
Humana Inc. (HUM) $127.23 -2.83%
Tyson Foods Inc. (TSN) $39.42 -2.81%
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC) $52.48 -2.70%
Dow Jones I.A - Risers
AT&T Inc. (T) $36.63 +2.76%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $66.59 +1.94%
Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $59.01 +1.79%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $52.35 +1.49%
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $105.17 +0.98%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $81.39 +0.39%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $96.09 +0.32%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $78.44 +0.06%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $102.12 +0.01%
Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $84.08 -1.95%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $107.95 -0.95%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $86.41 -0.85%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $58.74 -0.77%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $29.88 -0.73%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $25.75 -0.67%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $91.27 -0.66%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $78.81 -0.57%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $40.51 -0.43%
3M Co. (MMM) $145.00 -0.36%