US close: Stocks end flat ahead of earnings deluge

Michele Maatouk Sharecast | 17 Jul, 2017 21:41 | | |

New York Stock Exchange, markets, traders, USA, stocks, shares, Wall Street. Photo: Pete Bellis

US stocks ended little changed on Monday as investors digested a disappointing reading on manufacturing and looked ahead to a raft of quarterly updates scheduled for release later in the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended flat at 21,629.72, the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 2,459.14 and the Nasdaq closed flat at 6,314.43.

Quarterly updates from the largest US corporates were still high on investors' minds, with figures from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, General Electric and Microsoft all due out later in the week.

Results from Netflix were due out after the close of trading on Monday.

Meanwhile, investors were digesting the latest round of data from China, which showed second-quarter gross domestic product grew 6.9% from a year earlier, unchanged from the first quarter and ahead of expectations for 6.8% growth.

On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 1.7% compared to 1.3% in the first quarter, as expected. Chinese retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment data for June were also encouraging.

It was a less cheery picture on the US data front, however, as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's regional 'Empire State' manufacturing index fell back from a reading of 19.8 for June to 9.8 in July. Economists had been expecting a reading of 15.

In corporate news, Procter & Gamble edged higher following a Wall Street Journal report that shareholder Nelson Peltz and his Trian Fund Management could be set to fight for a seat on the company's board.

Fund manager Blackrock ended in the red after it posted adjusted second quarter earnings per share of $5.24, falling short of the $5.41 analysts had pencilled in. Quarterly revenues, up by 6% to $2.97bn, also undershot estimates.

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