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US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower as financial stocks drag
March 17, 2017 / 3:42 PM / 9 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower as financial stocks drag

* Tiffany rises on 4th-qtr profit beat

* Adobe up on strong quarterly results

* Indexes down: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.12 pct, Nasdaq 0.17 pct (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Anya George Tharakan

March 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were modestly lower on Friday as the lingering effects of the Federal Reserve’s less aggressive stance on the rates outlook hurt the financial sector.

The S&P 500 financial sector was off 0.85 percent, led by losses in big banks including Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

The index has outperformed in a post-election rally on bets of simpler regulations and on heightened expectations of higher interest rates.

The rally petered out somewhat after the Fed on Wednesday stuck to its outlook for a gradual tightening in policy following an as expected quarter point rate hike.

“We got the rate increase that the market was looking for, albeit some of the future expectations were a little bit more muted then investors had been bracing for,” said Eric Wiegand, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

“So we’ve seen interest rates come in a little bit from earlier this week, so I think that’s one of the things that weighing on financials specifically.”

For the week, however, the S&P 500 is on track to score gains, helped by the technology sector.

The S&P tech index was supported on Friday by Adobe’s 5.6 percent rise after the Photoshop software maker reported strong earnings.

At 11:06 a.m. ET (1506 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 15.64 points, or 0.07 percent, at 20,918.91 and the S&P 500 was down 2.97 points, or 0.12 percent, at 2,378.41.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 10.24 points, or 0.17 percent, at 5,890.52.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors marked slight gains, topped by a 0.5 percent rise in utilities.

Amgen dropped 6.7 percent to $168.02 after analysts were unimpressed by results of a study on its cholesterol drug.

Amgen was also the biggest drag on the broader S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq.

Tiffany’s shares rose 3 percent to $92.73, after the high-end jeweler’s fourth-quarter profit topped estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,435 to 1,350. On the Nasdaq, 1,512 issues fell and 1,126 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed forty five 52-week highs and three lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 93 highs and 35 lows. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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