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US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq pare gains after hitting record highs
May 8, 2017 / 1:56 PM / 7 months ago

US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq pare gains after hitting record highs

* Macron beats Le Pen in French presidential election

* Consumer discretionary outperforms other S&P sectors

* Straight Path jumps on higher offer from unnamed bidder

* Indexes down: Dow 0.12 pct, S&P 0.08 pct, Nasdaq 0.08 pct (Updates to open)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

May 8 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite hit all-time highs before paring gains as investors looked for fresh catalysts following centrist Emmanuel Macron’s widely expected victory in the French presidential election.

Comcast and were the top drivers of the two indexes.

Currency markets were in sharp focus, with the euro hitting a six-month high against the dollar after Macron comfortably defeated far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen who had threatened to take France out of the European Union.

“The results came in as expected and the market had already factored that in,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“The market is trading in a careful and deliberate way looking for the next driving force, which I expect will cause a strong move in either way.”

At 9:40 a.m. ET (1340 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 25.4 points, or 0.12 percent, at 20,981.54.

The S&P 500 was down 1.98 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,397.31, easing from an all-time high of 2,401.36.

The Nasdaq Composite was down 4.77 points, or 0.08 percent, at 6,095.99, after a record high of 6,106.11.

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with consumer discretionary rising the most by 0.24 percent. Materials were the biggest losers.

Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester said the central bank’s goals were largely met and interest rate hikes were on track.

However, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the rise in demand for safe assets remained strong and there was no need to rush rate hikes.

Shares of Kate Spade rose 8.2 percent to $18.36 after bigger rival Coach Inc said it would buy the company for $2.4 billion. Coach’s shares rose 7.2 percent.

Straight Path surged nearly 27 percent to $204.86 after an unnamed telecommunications company raised its offer to buy the wireless spectrum holder for about $3.1 billion, trumping a bid by AT&T. Sources told Reuters that the bidder was Verizon.

Tyson Foods was the biggest S&P loser, down 4.7 percent after the meat processor reported a slump in quarterly profit.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,352 to 1,183. On the Nasdaq, 1,255 issues fell and 1,040 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 33 52-week highs and one low, while the Nasdaq recorded 53 highs and 15 lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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