US close: Markets mixed as traders look to non-farms

Josh White WebFG News | 06 Dec, 2017 23:53 - Updated: 23:53 | | |

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23:26 15/12/17

Wall Street finished mixed on Wednesday, as traders continued to play it safe ahead of Friday's monthly non-farm payrolls numbers and next week's US Federal Reserve policy meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.16% at 24,140.91 and the S&P 500 was off just 0.01% at 2,629.27, while the Nasdaq 100 added 0.45% to settle at 6,293.05.

“It would appear some of the sparkle has disappeared from the markets at the start of December after what has been another impressive performance since the middle of November,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.

“The prospect of tax reform in the US, which has made progress, has aided the rally in recent weeks but clearly a number of significant hurdles remain and this is likely to continue to impact investor sentiment this month.

“A failure to deliver tax reform may well ensure the Santa rally eludes us this year.”

On the data front, consultancy ADP reported a 190,000 increase in private sector payrolls during November, as expected, following a 235,000 gain for October, with factory jobs specifically jumping by 40,000.

Wednesday's reading on jobs came alongside revised data from the Department of Labour showing a 3.0% quarter-on-quarter rise in labour productivity in the third quarter, against a consensus forecast for 3.2%.

Meanwhile, unit labour costs declined by 0.2% on the quarter, just off consensus expectations for 0.3%.

In corporate news, Home Depot was 1.12% lower despite announcing a new $15bn stock buyback programme.

Bank of America stock was also trading on the back foot, falling 1% after announcing a $5bn boost to the $12.9bn share buyback authorisation announced in June.

H & R Block stock was sharply higher, surging 10.19% after the tax preparation specialist posted stronger-than-expected sales for its second fiscal quarter.

Alcoholic beverage firm Brown-Forman was also on the up, rising 6.18% after the release of stronger-than-expected fiscal second quarter adjusted earnings per share of 62 cents.

At $914m its net sales also topped analysts' predictions.

Shares of Fred's plummeted 18.66% after the retailer canceled its quarterly cash dividend and said it was looking at alternatives for its real estate and specialty pharmacy business.

It also posted a wider loss for the third quarter.

Dow Jones - Risers

Visa Inc. (V) $109.74 2.15%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $173.48 1.66%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $141.08 1.47%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $82.78 1.46%
Boeing Co. (BA) $278.34 0.99%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $121.21 0.97%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $46.47 0.48%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) $97.28 0.28%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $37.41 0.27%
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $140.37 0.14%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $54.34 -3.33%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $50.69 -1.99%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $104.93 -1.89%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $105.46 -1.64%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $82.28 -1.54%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $35.56 -1.39%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $180.80 -1.12%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $245.92 -0.96%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) $154.10 -0.80%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $135.36 -0.73%

S&P 500 - Risers

DaVita Inc (DVA) $69.20 13.57%
H&R Block Inc. (HRB) $28.99 10.27%
Brown Forman Corp. Class B (BF.B) $65.83 6.19%
United States Steel Corp. (X) $31.11 4.26%
Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $173.52 3.57%
First Solar Inc. (FSLR) $63.24 3.32%
Philip Morris International Inc. (PM) $107.62 2.88%
Mastercard Incorporated (MA) $147.43 2.78%
Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $73.14 2.72%
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $379.04 2.58%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Newfield Exploration Co (NFX) $28.44 -9.43%
Range Resources Corp. (RRC) $16.49 -7.67%
Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW) $82.40 -6.41%
Robert Half International Inc. (RHI) $53.08 -6.32%
Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN) $5.82 -6.28%
Carmax Inc. (KMX) $66.55 -5.88%
Kimco Realty Corp. (KIM) $18.03 -5.50%
Mattel Inc. (MAT) $15.16 -4.95%
Henry Schein Inc. (HSIC) $67.58 -4.95%
Leggett & Platt Inc. (LEG) $46.04 -4.68%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $173.52 3.57%
Tesla Inc (TSLA) $313.26 3.15%
Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $73.14 2.72%
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $379.04 2.58%
Align Technology Inc. (ALGN) $233.01 2.49%
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $184.23 2.05%
Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) $60.75 2.02%
T-Mobile Us, Inc. (TMUS) $62.12 1.90%
Facebook Inc. (FB) $176.06 1.87%
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $51.01 1.86%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Dish Network Corp. (DISH) $49.31 -5.23%
Henry Schein Inc. (HSIC) $67.58 -4.95%
Tractor Supply Company (TSCO) $67.01 -2.53%
Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) $322.64 -2.51%
Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI) $5.60 -2.44%
Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $38.63 -2.25%
Discovery Communications Inc. Class A (DISCA) $19.44 -2.11%
Liberty Global plc Series A (LBTYA) $31.20 -1.89%
Liberty Global plc Series C (LBTYK) $30.32 -1.81%
Liberty Interactive Corporation - Series A Liberty Ventures (LVNTA) $55.61 -1.77%

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