US stocks close lower as investors remain cautious; OXY, FL rally

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US stocks close lower as investors remain cautious; OXY, FL rally

 US stocks close lower as investors remain cautious; OXY, FL rally
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Wall Street indices closed the week lower on Friday, August 19, dragged down by the decline in mega-cap stocks. S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended the week on a low note after snapping four consecutive weekly gains.

The S&P 500 fell 1.29 per cent to 4,228.48. The Dow Jones was down 0.86 per cent to 33,706.74. The NASDAQ Composite lost 2.01 per cent to 12,705.22, and the small-cap Russell 2000 fell 2.17 per cent to 1,957.35.

The investors seemed to be trading cautiously while keeping a distance from the risk-bet assets as they still looking for a clear picture of how aggressive the Fed would tighten their monetary plans.

In addition, comments from the officials have also weighed on the market sentiments. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on August 18, that he supports another three-quarter point rate hike in the Federal Reserve's next meeting. On the other hand, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said that a half per cent or three-quarter point rate hike would be "reasonable" in September.

Meanwhile, Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said on Friday that the central bank has a "lot of time" before deciding on how much bigger hike they would approve at their September policy meeting. The focus would be now on Fed's annual symposium next week in Jackson Hole.

The healthcare sector was the only gainer in the S&P 500 index on Friday, August 19. Nine of the 11 segments of the index stayed in the negative territory with information technology and consumer discretionary sectors declining the most.

Shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY) soared over nine per cent in intraday trading, after regulators approved Berkshire Hathaway to buy up to 50 per cent of the oil and gas firm.

Foot Locker, Inc. (FL) jumped 20.87 per cent after the footwear retail firm posted its quarterly earnings that seem to have topped the market expectations. The company had also appointed its new CEO, effective September 1 this year.

Deere & Company (DE) traded flat on Friday after the firm posted its quarterly financial results before the opening bell of the market. Meanwhile, the machinery manufacturer cut its full fiscal profit guidance.

In the healthcare sector, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) soared 1.52 per cent, Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) added 1.91 per cent, and Pfizer Inc. (PFE) jumped 1.17 per cent. Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) and AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) advanced 1.74 per cent and 1.01 per cent, respectively.

In technology stocks, Apple Inc. (AAPL) decreased by 1.51 per cent, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) fell 1.39 per cent, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSM) plunged by 2.32 per cent. NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) and ASML Holding N.V. (ASML) slipped 4.92 per cent and 2.86 per cent, respectively.

In the consumer discretionary sector, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) slumped 2.86 per cent, Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) dropped 2.05 per cent, and The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) declined 1.20 per cent. Toyota Motor Corporation (TM) and Nike, Inc. (NKE) ticked down 1.68 per cent and 2.46 per cent, respectively.

Top movers & losers in the US stock market on August 19

Futures & Commodities

Gold futures were down 0.60 per cent to US$1,760.55 per ounce. Silver decreased by 2.50 per cent to US$18.977 per ounce, while copper ticked up 0.99 per cent to US$3.6673.

Brent oil futures decreased by 0.81 per cent to US$95.81 per barrel and WTI crude was down 0.62 per cent to US$89.94.

Top volume movers in the US stock market on August 19

Bond Market

The 30-year Treasury bond yields were up 2.34 per cent to 3.215, while the 10-year bond yields rose 3.26 per cent to 2.974.

US Dollar Futures Index increased by 0.57 per cent to US$108.023.

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