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Dow gains helped by Amex earnings but S&P 500 falls

January 18, 2014


New York : American Express's solid earnings helped pushed the Dow higher on Friday but the broader market fell after a mixed batch of corporate earnings and economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 41.55 points (0.25 per cent) to 16,458.56. The S&P 500 fell 7.19 (0.39 per cent) to 1,838.70, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 21.11 (0.50 per cent) to 4,197.58. "Markets are mixed," said Peter Cardillo , chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital . "The economic news was mixed as well." US industrial output rose 0.3 per cent in December, while US housing starts fell almost 10 per cent from a five-year high. Corporate earnings were uneven, with Intel missing expectations, Morgan Stanley outperforming and General Electric matching estimates. Michael Gayed , chief investment strategist at Pension Partners , said investors are troubled by a spate of recent negative news out of retailers. "It's a pretty serious break in the consumer story," said Gayed. While most Dow components finished lower, American Express rose 3.6 per cent after quarterly earnings more than doubled last year's level and the company said it ended the quarter on a "strong note" with higher holiday spending. Susquehanna upgraded Amex after the financial results. Fellow Dow component and credit-card company Visa shot up 4.7 per cent. General Electric fell 2.3 per cent after its earnings matched expectations. Analysts expressed disappointment with some details in the report, such as results in its power and water division. Chipmaker Intel fell 2.6 per cent after earnings of 52 cents per share lagged expectations by a penny amid continued weakness in personal computer sales. Investment bank Morgan Stanley gained 4.4 per cent after quarterly results came to 50 cents per share, excluding a large legal charge, besting expectations of 45 cents . Morgan Stanley took a $1.2 billion charge due to litigation and investigations on residential mortgage-backed securities. Apple fell 2.5 per cent as China Mobile launched its long - awaited sale of Apple's iPhones to its enormous customer base. Electronics retailer Best Buy continued to reel from a weak report issued on Thursday on holiday sales, falling 9.0 per cent one day after dropping 28.6 per cent. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury dipped to 2.83 per cent from 2.84 per cent, while the 30-year slipped to 3.76 per cent from 3.77 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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Source: Times of Oman

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