Wall Street rises but ends off highs as Citi sinks
The financial sector, which has outperformed the broader market so far this year, took a hit on investors’ disappointment with Citigroup Inc’s earnings.
Citigroup’s stock slid 8.1 per cent to US$28.25 (RM 88.67) after it reported weaker-than-expected earnings. The KBW Banks Index lost 1.4 per cent. Through Friday, the KBW Banks Index was up about 10 per cent for the year, while the S&P 500 was about 2 per cent higher.
The banks’ sell-off splashed cold water on a rally that drove the S&P 500 through 1,300 for the first time since August.
Stocks rallied about 1 per cent across the board after data showed China’s economic growth was better than expected, even though it expanded at the weakest pace in 2-1/2 years.
“The better numbers out of China this morning got the market off to a better start, but then there wasn’t much follow-through, and you have had what looked to be from JPMorgan and Citigroup not very good-looking earnings,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer of North Star Investment Management Corp., in Chicago.
Citigroup’s results followed similarly disappointing earnings on Friday from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 60.01 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 12,482.07 at the close. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 4.58 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 1,293.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 17.41 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 2,728.08.
After the bell, shares of Yahoo shot up 3.6 per cent to US$15.99 in extended-hours trading following news that Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigned. In regular trading, Yahoo’s stock slipped 0.3 per cent to close at US$15.43.
Also after the close, shares of Cree, LED lighting maker, fell 5.5 per cent to US$22.05 in extended-hours trading after reporting a profit that fell short of analysts’ estimates and giving a revenue forecast below expectations. Cree’s stock had closed on Nasdaq at US$23.33, up 1.9 per cent.
Bank shares also suffered on Friday ahead of the widely expected announcement by Standard & Poor’s that it was downgrading the credit ratings of nine euro-zone countries.
“It was expected that some of the big banks would continue struggling, especially those heavily involved in investment banking because that part of the financial system has clearly slowed down,” said Bryant Evans, investment advisor and portfolio manager at Cozad Asset Management, in Champaign, Illinois.
While Wells Fargo & Co posted a 20 per cent jump in quarterly profit, its stock, which earlier had risen more than 1 per cent to a session high at US$30.69, pulled back sharply from that peak and ended up just 0.7 per cent at US$29.81.
The Nasdaq outperformed the other major US stock indexes, with shares of Applied Materials up 2.4 per cent at US$11.78. RBC upgraded the stock to “outperform.” An index of semiconductor stocks advanced 0.5 per cent.
The benchmark S&P 500 briefly moved above 1,300 on an intraday basis for the first time since August 1. Analysts said a substantial move past that resistance point could trigger more buying.
On the downside, Carnival Corp shares slid 13.7 per cent to US$29.60 as its Italian unit, Costa Crociere, struggled to locate missing passengers after a cruise liner capsized. Fellow cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd fell 6.2 per cent to US$26.97.
On the US economic front, a gauge of manufacturing in New York State rose to its highest level in nine months, keeping in line with the trend of modest improvement in US economic data.
Volume totalled 6.8 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq, just above the daily average of 6.68 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by about 3 to 2, while on the Nasdaq, advancers beat decliners by about 13 to 12. — Reuters