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While you were sleeping: Nasdaq hits record

While you were sleeping: Nasdaq hits record

By Margreet Dietz

July 25 (BusinessDesk) - Wall Street was mixed, with the Nasdaq climbing to a record high while the Dow and S&P 500 slipped, as investors digested the latest corporate earnings on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 3.06pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 percent. However, the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.3 percent. In 2.52pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.04 percent.

The Nasdaq rose to a record high 6,407.55.

"The tech sector is the leading sector so far this year," John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Bank in Columbus, Ohio, told Reuters. “It’s going to be important that those FANG [Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet] stocks set a positive tone and give positive guidance.”

Shares of Alphabet, which will report its earnings later in the day, traded 0.8 percent stronger as of 3.15pm in New York.

In the Dow, declines in shares of General Electric and those of Nike, recently down 2 percent and 1.8 percent respectively, outweighed gains in shares of Caterpillar and those of Wal-Mart, recently up 1.2 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

Shares of Blue Apron jumped, trading 13.2 percent stronger at US$7.42 after rising as high as US$7.87 earlier in the day, after multiple upbeat analyst reports eased recent concerns about increased competition for its meal-kit service following Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods Market.

“We believe Blue Apron is addressing a large multi-billion dollar market that is nearly all offline and taking spend away from both traditional grocers and restaurants,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney, according to Bloomberg.

In the latest US economic data, a report by the National Association of Realtors showed that existing-home sales fell 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June, down from 5.62 million in May. Even so, June's sales pace is 0.7 percent above a year ago, but is the second lowest of 2017, the group said.

"Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meagre level and price growth that's straining their budget," Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in the report.

"The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession," Yun noted. "Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

Oil prices climbed after Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s No. 1 producer, said it plans to lower exports next month. The country will limit crude oil exports to 6.6 million barrels per day in August, 1 million barrels lower than a year earlier, according to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.

Analysts welcomed a focus on cuts to exports, rather than to production.

“From the market’s point of view, the only thing they care about is exports,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told Bloomberg. The focus on exports will be “positive” for the oil market balances, she said.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a fall of 0.2 percent from the previous close. Germany’s DAX Index slid 0.3 percent, while the UK’s FTSE 100 Index dropped 1 percent.

France’s CAC 40 Index added 0.3 percent.

German car makers continued their slide amid concern about reports of collusion in the industry. Shares of Bayerische Motoren Werke closed 2.5 percent lower and those of Daimler ended 2.2 percent weaker, for the largest percentage declines in the DAX.



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