October 9, 2018 / 5:57 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower as tech rally fades, global growth woes weigh

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* Microsoft, Apple lead tech stocks to first gain in four days

* IMF cuts 2018, 2019 global growth view on Sino-U.S. trade war

* Industrials drop, led by Caterpillar and airline stocks

* Airlines drop after American Airlines sees high fuel costs

* Indexes: Dow off 0.09 pct, S&P off 0.08 pct, Nasdaq up 0.07 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Oct 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund said the Sino-U.S. trade war would hurt global growth, and as a rebound in technology stocks lost steam.

The IMF cut global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019, and its 2019 estimates for U.S. and China, saying the two countries would feel the brunt of the impact of their trade war next year.

President Donald Trump also repeated a threat to impose tariffs on $267 billion worth of additional Chinese imports if Beijing retaliates to Washington’s recent levies.

The trade-sensitive industrials sector was down 1.11 percent, with Caterpillar falling 2.4 percent and airline stocks down 2.22 percent.

American Airlines fell 5.3 percent after the company said fuel prices were higher than expected in the third quarter, raising concerns that improving fares were not enough to offset energy costs.

The S&P technology index was up 0.15 percent, easing from its gains earlier in the session, but on pace for its first increase in four sessions. The index was led by Microsoft, up 1.1 percent and Apple, up 0.8 percent.

“You get to a point where the growth-momentum names and semiconductors get sold for a while, but investors are now buying before heading into earnings season,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in New York.

At 1:32 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 23.93 points, or 0.09 percent, at 26,462.85, the S&P 500 was down 2.25 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,882.18 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 5.62 points, or 0.07 percent, at 7,741.57.

“The relatively flattish moves suggest that any headline on trade still continues to be an overhang,” said Amanda Agati, co-chief investment strategist at PNC Financial Services Group in Philadelphia.

Walmart rose 2.2 percent, the most on the Dow, after Deutsche Bank said the grocer is on track to gain market share through its e-commerce investments.

The energy sector was up 1.08 percent, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors, as oil prices rose on growing evidence of falling Iranian crude exports.

The biggest decliner was the materials index, which tumbled 2.65 percent, weighed down by a drop in chemical companies following PPG’s results and paper packaging companies after BMO flagged the risk of rising industry supply.

PPG Industries sank 10.1 percent after the chemicals maker said current-quarter profit would be hit by higher raw material costs and softer demand in China.

PPG’s decline was the steepest on the S&P, followed by WestRock and Packaging Corp of America, which fell about 7.5 percent each.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.11-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.16-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 14 new 52-week highs and 25 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 15 new highs and 92 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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