Thursday, October 27, 2016
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Market Digest Online FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2016: U.S. equities closed lower on Thursday as investors parsed through a fresh batch of corporate earnings results and economic data, while sovereign bonds around the world fell. The Dow Jones industrial average gyrated between gains and losses before closing about 30 points lower, with IBM contributing the most gains, offsetting losses in Boeing. The S&P 500 also held near the flatline for a large part of the session, before closing 0.3 percent lower, with telecoms advancing 1.6 percent to lead advancers and real estate falling 2.4 percent to lead decliners. The Nasdaq composite lagged, dropping 0.65 percent.

On the earnings front, Colgate-Palmolive, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Ford and UPS are just a few of the companies that posted quarterly results before the bell. Corporate earnings have done well relative to expectations. According to data from The Earnings Scout, 50 percent of S&P 500 components had posted results as of Thursday morning, with 73 percent beating earnings estimates and 61 percent topping sales expectations.

In economic news, initial jobless claims fell 3,000 to 258,000, while durable goods for September unexpectedly fell. Pending home sales, meanwhile, rose 1.5 percent in September. The advanced read on third-quarter U.S. GDP is due Friday morning.

U.S. economic data have been of special importance to investors recently, as they gauge the likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising rates later this year. The central bank is scheduled to meet next week and, while monetary policy is largely expected to remain unchanged, market participants expect a quarter-point rate increase after the Fed's December meeting. But despite the deluge of corporate results and economic data, U.S. stocks have largely stayed range-bound, with the S&P having fallen just 1.25 percent over the past three months, as of Wednesday's close.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 29.65 points, or 0.16 percent, to end at 18,169.68, with Verizon leading advancers and Boeing the biggest laggard. The S&P 500 fell 6.39 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 2,133.04, with real estate leading eight sectors lower and telecommunications leading advancers. The Nasdaq fell 34.29 points, or 0.65 percent, to 5,215.97.

About three stocks declined for every advancer at the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 966.32 million and a composite volume of 4.115 billion at the close. U.S. crude for December delivery rose 1.1 percent to settle at $49.72 per barrel. Gold futures for December delivery rose $2.90 to settle at $1,269.50 per ounce.

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