United States stocks close lower, snapping Dow's 10-day winning streak

Marco Green
August 13, 2017

But despite the largest percentage drop in over a month on a global equities index, USA equities ended only slightly lower as healthy corporate earnings and a recent string of strong economic data enticed investors into beaten-down stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 70.4 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 22,014.94, the S&P 500 lost 5.51 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 2,469.41 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 31.19 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 6,339.27.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. lost 1.58 Canadian dollars (1.24 USA dollars), or 9.4 percent, to 17.89 Canadian dollars (14.09 dollars), after the company said its subsidiaries in Australia were the subject of a tax audit.

The weaker markets followed President Trump's warning to North Korea that it would see "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continued to threaten the United States. "The most visible impact of escalating verbal threats between North Korea and President Trump comes at the long end of the U.S. Treasury curve", said Jim Vogel, interest rates strategist at FTN Financial in Memphis.

About 6.22 billion shares changed hands on USA stock exchanges, slightly above the 6.15 billion average for the last 20 sessions. Only utilities sector stocks eked out a gain on a day of mostly listless trading as investors kept an eye on the latest company earnings and geopolitical news. Alliance Data Systems fell $6.28, or 2.7 percent, to $225.64.

Charter Communications rose 2.9 percent on news Altice is exploring a bid for the cable giant.

LACKLUSTER QUARTER: Office Depot sank 24.5 percent after the office supply company's second-quarter results fell short of Wall Street's projections.

On the other hand, gold stocks have shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 1.5%.

Dow member Disney dropped 3.9 percent as it reported flat third-quarter revenues due in part to weakness in its cable subscription business. Its shares tumbled $11.35 to $61.99. Humana rose $3.59, or 1.4 percent, to $253.81.

Bond prices were little changed.

Elsewhere in commodities, the September crude contract was up 39 cents to US$49.56 per barrel, September natural gas advanced six cents at US$2.88 per mmBTU and September copper declined two cents at US$2.93 a pound. Brent crude, used to price global oils, rose 20 cents to $52.10 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.48 yen from 109.85 late Wednesday. It was last up 1.1 per cent at 1.1321 per euro.

Major indexes in Europe closed mostly lower. Germany's DAX fell 0.9 percent, while the CAC 40 in France lost 0.5 percent. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals led the pack, adding $4.47, or 1 percent, to $474.15.

US crude was unchanged at $48.59 per barrel and Brent was last at $51.84, down 1.63 percent on the day.

Stocks ended more than one percent down in Seoul while the won slumped to a three-week low against the dollar as the USA president and South Korea┬┤s volatile neighbour dramatically ramped up their war of words.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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