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07-Dec2018

US markets end mostly lower on Thursday

The US markets ended mostly lower on Thursday after a dramatic session that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop more than 700 points at one point on fears that the arrest of a Huawei executive would reignite trade worries. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on suspicion of violating US trade sanctions against Iran and faces possible extradition to the US.  Further, some cautiousness also prevailed in the markets after a report released by the Commerce Department showed a steep drop in new orders for US manufactured goods in the month of October. The Commerce Department said factory orders tumbled by 2.1% in October after rising by a downwardly revised 0.2% in September. Street had expected factory orders to slump by 2.0% compared to the 0.7% increase originally reported for the previous month.

However, the markets clawed back most of its losses on a report that the Federal Reserve may turn more accommodative. Federal Reserve officials are considering signaling a wait-and-see mentality after a likely interest rate hike later this month. According to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management, growth in US service sector activity unexpectedly accelerated in the month of November. The ISM said its non-manufacturing index crept up to 60.7 in November after pulling back to 60.3 in October, with a reading above 50 indicating service sector growth. Street had expected the index to dip to 59.2. Meanwhile, revised data released by the Labor Department showed labor productivity in the US increased by slightly more than initially estimated in the third quarter. The report also said unit labor costs rebounded by less than previously estimated. The report said productivity surged up by 2.3% in the third quarter compared to the previously reported 2.2% spike. The upward revision to the pace of productivity growth matched street estimates.

Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 79.40 points or 0.32 percent to 24947.67 and S&P 500 lost 4.11points or 0.15 percent to 2695.95, while Nasdaq was up by 29.83 points or 0.42 percent to 7188.26.


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