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US close: Markets finish higher as industrial data misses forecasts

Wed 15 May 2019 23:12 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Markets in the US reversed their opening fortunes to finish in the green on Wednesday, a day after the Dow's strongest performance in a month, as trade concerns continued to mount.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 0.45% at 25,648.02, the S&P 500 added 0.58% to 2,850.96, and the Nasdaq 100 was ahead 1.37% at 7,503.25.

At the open, the Dow had lost more than 75 points, after closing more than 200 points higher on Tuesday.

That was its best day in a month, and was seen as a recovery from Wall Street's tumble on Monday on the back of an announcement from China that it would raise tariffs on $60bn worth of US imports on 1 June.

Despite Donald Trump, who took to Twitter earlier in the week to warn China that it would "hurt very badly" if it failed to make a trade deal, softening his tone on America's trade war with China on Tuesday, referring to it as a "little squabble" and insisting talks had not collapsed, international trade looked set to remain a key focus for market participants, with the president expected to decide on Friday whether or not to impose car tariffs on Europe.

Elsewhere, in commodities, oil pared some of its recent gains on reports that growth in US crude stocks was easing market concerns after a drone attack in Saudi Arabia highlighted the defencelessness of the nation's energy infrastructure.

On the data front, US retail sales dipped unexpectedly last month, amid weak outturns for those of motor vehicles and parts, electronics and building materials, leaving some economists scratching their heads given the recent strength in the closely-watched weekly retail sales surveys from Redbook.

According to the Department of Commerce, in seasonally-adjusted terms, retail sales volumes slipped by 0.2% month-on-month to reach roughly $513bn, although excluding sales of automobiles they edged higher by 0.1%, helped by a jump in gasoline station sales.

Economists had forecast a rise in total sales of 0.2% month-on-month and an increase of 0.7% excluding automobiles.

In other news, industrial output growth in the States missed forecasts by a wide margin last month as manufacturing added to a growing list of monthly declines.

The Department of Commerce said that total US industrial production shrank at a month-on-month pace of 0.5%, compared to consensus expectations for nil change, led by drops of 0.5% in manufacturing and a 3.5% reduction in that from utilities.

Significantly, April's weak reading came alongside downward revisions on readings for November, January and February, resulting in a rate of industrial capacity use of just 77.9%, versus a consensus forecast of 78.7%.

"To be clear, manufacturing is struggling, mostly because of the downturn in China's cycle, exacerbated by the trade war," said Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson.

"But we are quite hopeful that the survey will rebound quickly, because the U.S. index lags movements in the Chinese PMIs - official and unofficial - which have bounced clearly up, net, in the past couple of months."

Elsewhere, manufacturing activity in the New York Fed's jurisdiction unexpectedly improved in May, to a six-month high, according to data released on Wednesday.

The New York Fed's Empire State index rose to 17.8 from 10.1 in May, beating expectations for a reading of 8.5.

According to the survey, 36% of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 18% said conditions had worsened.

Finally, business inventories in the US during March were flat, according to the Commerce Department.

Sales jumped 1.6% during the month, while the ratio of inventories to sales fell to 1.37 from 1.39.

In corporate news, retailer Macy's was down 0.5% despite crushing earnings estimates thanks to solid online sales, while Alibaba shares rose 1.58% in New York after the e-commerce giant's fourth-quarter earnings and revenues came in above expectations.

Dow Jones - Risers

Visa Inc. (V) $162.79 3.47%

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $134.68 2.54%

Boeing Co. (BA) $345.64 2.45%

Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $49.18 2.35%

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) $134.40 2.27%

Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $146.55 2.17%

Nike Inc. (NKE) $84.01 1.79%

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $127.30 1.60%

United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $133.98 1.53%

American Express Co. (AXP) $117.67 1.52%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $236.08 -1.45%

Dowdupont Inc. (DWDP) $30.10 -0.46%

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $136.91 -0.21%

Walmart Inc. (WMT) $99.88 -0.01%

McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $199.07 0.02%

3M Co. (MMM) $174.12 0.03%

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $56.82 0.11%

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $52.74 0.30%

JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $109.90 0.41%

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $77.55 0.49%

S&P 500 - Risers

Coty Inc. Class A (COTY) $13.29 13.30%

Progressive Corp. (PGR) $77.50 6.84%

Hilton Inc (HLT) $93.65 4.79%

Baker Hughes, A Ge Company Class A (BHGE) $22.74 4.60%

CenturyLink Inc. (CTL) $10.96 4.19%

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV) $24.71 4.13%

Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL) $1,170.80 4.08%

General Electric Co. (GE) $10.26 3.95%

Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) $1,164.21 3.91%

Invesco Ltd. (IVZ) $20.59 3.88%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Agilent Technologies Inc. (A) $67.64 -8.40%

Wabtec Corp. (WAB) $68.39 -2.98%

Ball Corp (BLL) $62.51 -2.95%

Svb Financial Group (SIVB) $229.48 -2.90%

Zions Bancorporation (ZION) $45.13 -2.82%

Transdigm Group Inc. (TDG) $452.63 -2.49%

Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW) $42.75 -2.44%

People's United Financial Inc. (PBCT) $16.17 -2.41%

Centerpoint Energy Inc. (CNP) $29.44 -2.39%

PPL Corp. (PPL) $30.66 -2.23%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Biomarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN) $87.16 7.54%

Alphabet Inc. Class A (GOOGL) $1,170.80 4.08%

Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG) $1,164.21 3.91%

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) $107.48 3.80%

Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $41.50 3.72%

Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) $46.28 3.53%

Facebook Inc. (FB) $186.27 3.07%

Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $354.99 2.71%

JD.com, Inc. (JD) $30.44 2.60%

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) $96.77 2.33%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Mylan Inc. (MYL) $20.05 -1.76%

Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $16.06 -1.71%

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $159.58 -1.52%

CSX Corp. (CSX) $77.39 -1.09%

Henry Schein Inc. (HSIC) $66.58 -1.08%

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) $42.49 -0.98%

American Airlines Group (AAL) $32.16 -0.56%

Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI) $5.61 -0.36%

Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) $119.14 -0.35%

Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $38.41 -0.26%

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