Market news

19 September 2019

Major US stock indexes closed trading mixed

Major US stock indexes ended the session in different directions, as the rise in prices of Microsoft shares (MSFT) was offset by disappointment after the announcement of the results of the last Fed meeting.

Microsoft shares (MSFT) rose 1.63% after reports that the company's board of directors decided to increase quarterly dividends by 11% to $ 0.51 / share, and also approved a new $ 40 billion share buyback program.

Some support to the market was provided by the expectations of a new round of trade negotiations between Chinese and American officials, which will be held in Washington. The main objective of these two-day discussions is to set the stage for high-level negotiations in early October, which will determine whether Washington and Beijing can move forward to conclude a deal or resume the introduction of higher tariffs.

Investors also analyzed macroeconomic data for the United States. Thus, the report of the Department of Labor showed that the number of initial applications for unemployment benefits in the United States grew less than expected and remained at historically low levels, which suggests that the labor market remains stable. According to the report, the number of applications for unemployment benefits rose by 2,000 to 208,000 for the week ending September 14. Economists predicted that the number of applications for unemployment benefits would increase to 213,000.

At the same time, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a report that reflected an unexpected surge in home sales in the US in August. According to NAR, home sales in the secondary market rose in August by 1.3%, to an annualized rate of 5.49 million units, after increasing by 2.5%, to 5.42 million units in July. Continued growth came as a surprise to economists, who expected sales in the secondary housing market to drop to 5.37 million.

Most of the DOW components completed trading in the red (19 of 30). Outsider were the shares of The Walt Disney Co. (DIS; -2.64%). The biggest gainers were Microsoft Corp. (MSFT; + 1.63%).

Most S&P sectors recorded a decline. The consumer goods sector (-0.4%) and the services sector (-0.4%) decreased more than others. The conglomerate sector showed the highest growth (+ 0.5%).

At the time of closing:

Dow 27,094.79 -52.29 -0.19%

S&P 500 3,006.79 +0.06 + 0.00%

Nasdaq 100 8,182.88 +5.49 + 0.07%

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