The US markets closed the Friday's trade on pessimistic note, as better-than-expected first-quarter earnings failed to stir buying appetite on Wall Street. Underlining concerns about lofty quarterly expectations for American corporations and geopolitical anxiety too dampened sentiments. However markets started the session on optimistic note as traders reacted positively to earnings news from financial giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), and Wells Fargo (WFC). Buying interest waned shortly due to the release of a report from the University of Michigan showing a bigger than expected drop in consumer sentiment in the month of April. The report said the preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for April came in at 97.8 compared to the final March reading of 101.4. The street had expected the index to edge down to 100.5.
Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist said, the consumer sentiment slipped in early April, largely reversing the gains recorded in the prior two months. The small decline was widely shared by all age and income subgroups and across all regions of the country. He added, importantly, confidence still remains relatively high, despite the recent losses that were mainly due to concerns about the potential impact of Trump's trade policies on the domestic economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 122.91 points or 0.50 percent to 24,360.14, the Nasdaq dropped 33.60 points or 0.47 percent to 7,106.65, while the S&P 500 was down by 7.69 points or 0.29 percent to 2,656.30.