US close: Wall Street ends flat as investors bide time ahead of key data

26 Jan 2023
US close: Wall Street ends flat as investors bide time ahead of key data

Wall Street's main indices ended a volatile session roughly flat as investors digested weaker than expected outlooks from GE, Microsoft and Texas Instruments, a large earnings miss out of Boeing, and another antitrust case brought against Google.

Buoying sentiment perhaps, a week before the Federal Reserve's next rate meeting, and key inflation data due out over the next two sessions, rate-setters in Canada signalled on Wednesday that they might pause on policy the next time they met.

And reports on Wednesday were that the latest Covid-19 boosters were effective against symptomatic disease brought on by the latest strains of the virus, while in China officials reported that the peak in infections had now passed.

The Dow Jones Industrials ended up by 0.03% at 33,743.84, the S&P 500 eased lower by 0.02% to 4,016.22 and the Nasdaq Composite was off by 0.18% to 11,313.36.

Shortly after the opening the bell the latter had traded almost 2% lower.

The US dollar index slipped 0.3%, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures added 0.25% and 10-year Treasury yields were unchanged.

"The last few weeks may turn out to perfectly encapsulate how the year will be as a whole, fluctuating significantly and suddenly between optimism and pessimism as the data and headlines dictate," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst for UK & EMEA at OANDA.

"We appear to have entered the latter phase now after starting the year in a very buoyant mood, with earnings painting a more realistic picture of the outlook for this year than investors appeared to be convincing themselves was the case. Layoffs, missed headline numbers and downbeat forecasts are quickly becoming the norm."

Microsoft had been the single biggest culprit behind the declines on Wall Street at the start of trading, retreating by around 4% at one point during the session, but finished just 0.59% lower.

The technology giant delivered weaker than expected sales for the latest quarter, together with lower than expected earnings per share guidance for the quarter just started.

Alphabet on the other hand fell 2.54% after the Department of Justice filed a second antitrust suit against the outfit.

GE's cash flow target for 2023 meanwhile underwhelmed but the shares reversed early losses to edge up 0.11%.

Texas Instruments's shares dipped by 1.1% on guidance for the first quarter that came in short of the Street's estimates for both its top and bottom lines, but they too ended the day well of their earlier lows.

Boeing reiterated its forecasts for 2023 free cash flows but missed analysts' estimates for its earnings per share in the fourth quarter due to extraordinary charges.

Even so, its shares also erased an earlier drop and rose by 0.33%.

After the close of markets in New York, Tesla's latest quarterly results were rewarded with a gain of 2.73%.

As an aside, Bloomberg's John Authers cited a piece of research from stock investing legend Jeremy Grantham according to which the US stock market might be set to exhibit some largely unexpected resilience over the next few months.

Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first election, Grantham had shown that in the seven months starting the month before mid-term elections and ending at the end of the following April - that is to say now - "have been far, far better than the returns in all the other months of the cycle".

During those stretches the S&P 500 had clocked in with an annualised real total return of over 25% against just under 5% during all other times.

Dow Jones - Risers

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $108.12 2.00%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $273.00 1.28%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $36.28 1.06%
American Express Co. (AXP) $156.77 0.93%
Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $156.17 0.85%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $169.51 0.71%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $60.93 0.63%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $139.12 0.48%
Visa Inc. (V) $224.90 0.45%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $349.63 0.37%

Dow Jones - Fallers

3M Co. (MMM) $112.93 -1.80%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $190.74 -1.30%
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $256.54 -1.22%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $179.08 -0.97%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $29.70 -0.74%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $240.61 -0.59%
Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) $57.89 -0.53%
International Business Machines Corporation (CDI) (IBM) $140.76 -0.52%
Walmart Inc. (WMT) $142.34 -0.48%
Apple Inc. (AAPL) $141.86 -0.47%

S&P 500 - Risers

Capital One Financial Corp. (COF) $116.09 8.99%
AT&T Inc. (T) $20.42 6.58%
News Corp Class A (NWSA) $20.66 5.79%
US Bancorp (USB) $49.15 5.31%
Bread Financial Holdings, Inc. (BFH) $42.72 5.04%
Progressive Corp. (PGR) $135.47 4.86%
eBay Inc. (EBAY) $48.93 4.80%
News Corp Class B (NWS) $20.86 4.80%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX) $46.64 4.60%
Synchrony Financial (SYF) $36.88 4.27%

S&P 500 - Fallers

NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE) $76.59 -8.71%
Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ) $58.30 -5.85%
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $243.80 -5.50%
Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) $242.97 -5.05%
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) $228.01 -4.66%
Gen Dynamics Corp. (GD) $226.88 -3.64%
Danaher Corp. (DHR) $262.95 -3.18%
Equifax Inc. (EFX) $215.30 -3.01%
Invesco Ltd. (IVZ) $18.00 -2.81%
Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI) $7.81 -2.62%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

eBay Inc. (EBAY) $48.93 4.80%
Henry Schein Inc. (HSIC) $83.75 3.72%
Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) $403.72 2.98% Group Limited (TCOM) $39.73 2.85%
Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $14.68 2.80%
Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) $120.20 2.11%
Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR) $149.56 2.07%
Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI) $5.91 2.07%
Skyworks Solutions Inc. (SWKS) $109.42 1.97%
DENTSPLY Sirona Inc. (XRAY) $36.59 1.95%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $243.80 -5.50%
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) $228.01 -4.66%
CSX Corp. (CSX) $31.05 -2.54%
Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL) $95.22 -2.54%
Paychex Inc. (PAYX) $115.62 -2.53%
Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) $96.73 -2.50%
Illumina Inc. (ILMN) $210.95 -1.95%
Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) $202.55 -1.88%
Verisk Analytics Inc. (VRSK) $180.11 -1.77%
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $188.61 -1.70%

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