closing bell

Dow Finishes Down 44, Nasdaq Loses 11

Stocks started the day lower after a report showed that the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter. That decline extended after the Federal Reserve said that it would continue its bond-buying program to boost growth.
Associated Press,

NEW YORK (AP) -- A reminder that the U.S. economy still remains a long way from being fully healed after the Great Recession put the brakes on a January rally that has pushed stocks close to record levels. The Standard & Poor's 500 logged its biggest drop of the year.

Stocks started the day lower after a report showed that the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter. That decline extended after the Federal Reserve said that it would continue its bond-buying program to boost growth.

Story continues after the ad

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 44 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 13,910.42, logging only its second decline in nine days. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,501.96, its biggest decline since Dec. 28. The Nasdaq composite fell 11 points to 3,142.31.

The U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

The Fed acknowledged that the economy is still struggling to regain momentum, in a statement it released Wednesday afternoon following its two-day meeting, saying that growth had "paused in recent months." The central bank took no new action and said it would keep buying $85 billion of bonds a month as part of its plan to keep borrowing costs low to spur growth.

"The Fed didn't really say anything out of the ordinary, so you got the reaction you should've had in the morning," said Joe Saluzzi a co-founder at brokerage firm Themis Trading. "When you've spent this much money trying to prop up an economy and you still come up with a negative print, that's bad news."

Brand Connections

Still, stocks remain on track for a great January.

The Dow Jones average has surged 6.2 percent since the start of the year, climbing close to 14,000 and within touching distance of its record level. The S&P 500 has gained 5.3 percent this month, close to its highest level in more than five years. Investors bought stocks after lawmakers reached a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and on optimism the U.S. housing market is recovering and the jobs market is slowly healing.

U.S. gross domestic product, the volume of all goods and services produced, contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That's a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.

"To ignore this is folly," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at ING Investment Management. "Certainly, this market could continue to move forward, but ignoring the fundamentals is not something I'd counsel my clients to do."

Positive company earnings reports helped offset the disappointing news about the economy and stem a bigger decline.

Amazon jumped $12.41, or 4.8 percent, to $272.76 after the world's biggest online retailer showed improving profit margins when it posted fourth-quarter earnings late Tuesday. Boeing, currently scrambling to fix battery problems that have grounded its 787 Dreamliner planes, gained 94 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $74.59 after it reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations. Rising profits from commercial jets offset a smaller profit from defense work.

A private survey showed Wednesday that U.S. businesses increased hiring in January compared with a revised December reading. Payroll processor ADP said that employers added 192,000 jobs in January.

Traders and investors will now turn their focus back on to company earnings and Friday's nonfarm employment report.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to its price, fell 1 basis point to 1.99 percent.

Among other stocks making big moves Wednesday:

- Chesapeake Energy rose $1.14, or 6 percent, to $20.11 after the company said late Tuesday that its embattled CEO Aubrey McClendon will leave the company this spring.

- Avery Dennison, a packing materials company, rose $2.30, or 6.4 percent, to $38.44 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations and said it was selling two of its business units to CCL industries for $500 million. The company will use the proceeds of the sale to buy back stock and make additional pension contributions.

- Copano Energy, a natural energy company, rose $4.90, or 14.8 percent, to $38.03 after the company said that it had agreed to be acquired by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners for about $3.2 billion in stock.

- MeadWestvaco, a packaging company, fell $1.30, or 3.9 percent, to $31.63 after the company reported earnings that fell short of analysts' expectations.

Tags

Comments (0) -

Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 28, 2016
  • 1.
    2.8/10
  • 2.
    1.9/7
  • 3.
    1.7/6
  • 4.
    1.4/5
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.4/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

This advertisement will close automatically in  second(s). You will see this ad no more than once a day. Skip ad