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US close: Stocks end lower despite Bannon departure

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US close: Stocks end lower despite Bannon departure

Sat, 19 August 2017
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(ShareCast News) - Wall Street slipped slight lower heading into the weekend as traders tried to figure out the implications of recent events on Capitol Hill and weighed the unexpected departure of White House chief strategist Steven Bannon.
On a positive note, earlier in the day the White House had announced that National Economic Council director Gary Cohn would not be stepping down, quashing rumours from the previous session which had weighed on capital markets and giving markets a bid.

The announcement followed resignation over the previous sessions of multiple top executives from the various councils and forums set-up by President Trump to tackle some of the key policy issues facing the country.

By the close, the Dow Jones Industrials had given back 0.35% or 76.02 points to 21,674.51, alongside a retreat of 0.18% or 4.46 points for the S & P 500 to 2,425.55 while the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.09% to 6,216.53.

Regarding Bannon, some market commentary believed it might strengthen the hand of the globalists and free-traders in the Trump administration.

In economic news, the University of Michigan's consumer confidence index for August improved from a reading of 93.4 for July to 97.6 in August.

Commenting on the rise survey director Richard Curtin said: "Too few interviews were conducted following Charlottesville to assess how much it will weaken consumers' economic assessments. The fallout is likely to reverse the improvement in economic expectations recorded across all political affiliations in early August.

"Moreover, the Charlottesville aftermath is more likely to weaken the economic expectations of Republicans, since prospects for Trump's economic policy agenda have diminished."

In a research note sent to clients before the opening bell on Friday, Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, said: "We're seeing risk aversion in the markets again, with the possibility of a self-inflicted crisis within Donald Trump's White House and another terror attack, this time in Barcelona, weighing on risk appetite."

To take note of, on Thursday evening Dallas Fed boss Robert Kaplan told an audience in Texas he would like to see more progress on inflation "before I consider another rate increase".

"I'm being patient in terms of another rate increase," he reportedly said.

In other notewrothy remarks from prominent Fed officials, speaking on the same day Mineapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari said than when deciding when to start unwinding its bond portfolio, the US central bank would take into consideration the state of negotiations on raising the federal government's debt ceiling.

By sectors, energy outperformed as Baker Hughes reported that the US oil rig count fell by five last week to 763, in turn sparking a 3.48% rally in WTI futures to $48.73 a barrel on NYMEX.

That saw Exploration and Production stocks top the sector leaderboard with a 0.81% rise, followed by Oil Equipment (0.77%) and Electricity (0.72%).

Stock in Deere&Co. lost ground after the manufacturer of construction and farming equipment posted third quarter earnings per share of $1.55, falling woefully short of the $1.93 that analysts had penciled in. At $7.81bn, top line growth also fell short of the Street's expectations.

Sportswear-maker Footlocker shares were sharply lower after delivering weaker-than-expected quarterly EPS of 62 cents (consensus: 90 cents).

Calpine rocketed after the Journal reported that Energy Capital Partners was closing in on a $17bn deal to acquire the power company.

Dow Jones - Risers

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $113.92 0.69%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $106.48 0.53%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $76.64 0.50%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $92.47 0.43%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $81.18 0.40%
Visa Inc. (V) $102.51 0.34%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $222.15 0.33%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $72.49 0.12%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $90.74 0.10%
Boeing Co. (BA) $235.77 0.08%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Nike Inc. (NKE) $54.95 -4.37%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $30.37 -2.16%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $147.46 -1.46%
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $190.82 -0.98%
3M Co. (MMM) $203.53 -0.89%
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) $32.67 -0.85%
American Express Co. (AXP) $85.38 -0.82%
General Electric Co. (GE) $24.55 -0.81%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) $139.70 -0.71%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $100.69 -0.67%

S&P 500 - Risers

Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC) $14.45 14.23%
Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) $59.02 10.67%
Estee Lauder Co. Inc. (EL) $105.92 7.73%
Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN) $5.28 2.92%
Range Resources Corp. (RRC) $17.93 2.75%
Transocean Ltd. (RIG) $7.47 2.75%
Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) $23.66 2.74%
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $44.30 2.74%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $30.38 2.57%
Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (DO) $10.61 2.22%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Deere & Co. (DE) $117.31 -5.38%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $54.95 -4.37%
Under Armour Inc. Class A (UAA) $17.13 -3.87%
L Brands Inc (LB) $36.20 -3.60%
Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (DNB) $110.04 -2.98%
Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (HST) $17.43 -2.73%
Macerich Co (MAC) $53.14 -2.46%
Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG) $153.58 -2.30%
GGP Inc (GGP) $20.50 -2.24%
Fastenal Co. (FAST) $40.68 -2.24%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) $59.02 10.67%
Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $44.30 2.74%
Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $30.38 2.57%
Ctrip.Com International Ltd. Ads (CTRP) $50.44 2.54%
Symantec Corp. (SYMC) $28.45 1.46%
Cerner Corp. (CERN) $64.25 1.40%
Lam Research Corp. (LRCX) $160.49 1.28%
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $984.31 1.15%
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (ULTA) $244.20 1.15%
Discovery Communications Inc. Class A (DISCA) $22.49 1.12%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Fastenal Co. (FAST) $40.68 -2.24%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $30.37 -2.16%
Viacom Inc. Class B (VIAB) $28.59 -2.12%
Mattel Inc. (MAT) $16.82 -2.04%
Hasbro Inc (HAS) $95.51 -1.70%
JD.com, Inc. (JD) $40.13 -1.64%
Shire Plc Ads (SHPG) $145.55 -1.62%
Hologic Inc. (HOLX) $37.42 -1.40%
O'Reilly Automotive Inc. (ORLY) $197.92 -1.35%
Tesla Inc (TSLA) $347.46 -1.27%