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Stock Market News For Jul 20, 2018

Markets finished sharply lower on Thursday, led by a selloff in financials, as President Donald Trump criticized the Fed saying that he wasn’t thrilled about the rate hikes. Also, trade war fears once again escalated as worries that the European Union (EU) could impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S imports dented investors’ confidence. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.5%, to close at 25,064.50. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% to close at 2,804.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended the day at 7, 825.30, declining 0.4%. A total of 6.29 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.46 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.37-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.17-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

How did the Benchmark Perform?

The Dow snapped 134.70 points, ending it five-day long winning streak. This was also the Dow’s longest winning streak in two months, with American Express as one of the biggest laggards. Shares of American Express Company AXP declined 2.7%. American Express has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The S&P 500 shed 11.13 points, led by selloff in financial stocks. The Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) declined 1.5%. Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors ended in negative territory. The tech heavy Nasdaq shed 29.15 points.

Trump Criticizes Fed, Financials Decline

Banks stocks gained on Wednesday on the back of robust earnings. However, on Thursday, Trump in an interview to CNN said that he wasn’t “thrilled” that the Fed was making interest rate hikes. The Fed has already raised interest rates twice this year and has hinted at two more hikes by the end of this year.

Trump’s comments had an immediate impact on markets, with financial stocks taking a hit. Shares of all major banks plummeted on the news. Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM, Citigroup C, Bank of America BAC and Morgan Stanley MS declined 1.5%, 1.2%, 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively.

Trade War Fears Escalate

Trade war fears once again came back haunting as worries that the EU might slap retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods made investors jittery. Officials from the EU Commission, who will be in the U.S. next week for trade talks, are reportedly finalizing a list of goods that will be subject to tariffs in response to the United States’ tariffs on EU cars.

Automakers said that import duty on U.S. made cars and auto parts might eventually led to higher vehicle prices. Moreover, the Fed’s Beige Book report on Wednesday revealed that manufacturers in all the 12 U.S. districts of the Central Bank were concerned about the impact of trade war. This dented investors’ confidence leading to huge selloffs.

Jobless Claims Fall to Record Level

Initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 last week, the lowest level since late 1969. Also, the Philly Fed manufacturing index jumped 0.6% in July, beating expectations.

Stocks That Made Headlines

GATX Corp's Q2 Earnings & Revenues Surpass Estimates

GATX Corporation GATX performed impressively in the second quarter of 2018, reporting better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues(Read More)

Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?

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