Markets Right Now: Energy stocks lead U.S. indexes lower

Andrew Cummings
April 28, 2017

US stocks snapped a two-day rally to end lower on Wednesday after the plan was unveiled. The S&P 500 erased 1.16 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,387.45.

The Dow closed at 20,996.12 Tuesday, up 232.23 points, or 1.12 percent, while the broader S&P 500 ended at 2,388.61, up 14.46 points, or 0.61 percent. The S&P 500 posted 82 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 210 new highs and 28 new lows.

Of the 181 S&P 500 companies that have released results so far, almost 77 percent have reported earnings above analysts' expectations.

And in a market that has been driven by large sums of money flowing into passive funds that track the largest companies in the largest stock market indexes, these stocks have flown higher than most.

US Steel X.N tumbled more than 25 percent after the company's profit and revenue missed analysts' expectations. "People will say that valuations are expensive, but I would say, 'Yeah, but not relative to fixed income'". The stock was the top percentage gainer on the S&P 500. New menu items helped it to drive United States sales. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index climbed 1.1 percent, South Korea's Kospi gained 1.1 percent and the Hang Seng in Honk Kong jumped 1.3 percent.

The Nasdaq is up 138.41 points, or 2.3 percent.

"Our efforts to build a better McDonald's are yielding meaningful results with continued positive momentum and a strong start to 2017 that includes positive comparable sales across all segments, higher global guest counts and enhanced profitability", McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

The Russell 2000 is up 37.27 points, or 2.7 percent.

Technology stocks will remain in focus, with sector heavyweights Microsoft MSFT.O and Alphabet GOOGL.O reporting results after the bell on Thursday.

Indexes ticked up but declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE 1.03-to-1 while on Nasdaq a 1.15-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The promise of a major tax overhaul and looser regulations by the president partly fueled stock market gains in the months after Trump's election. Results indicate France may not try to break apart from the European Union.

Investors, though, have grown more skeptical about the ability for Republicans in Washington to push through big change following their stumbles in overhauling the nation's health care system. The administration is expected to release details of the plan later on Wednesday, he said.

Further, solid earnings have been driving the market higher. A potential shutdown of the federal government also looms unless Congress can agree on a spending bill.

The Nasdaq composite's run to 6,000 is thanks in part to President Donald Trump and less uncertainty overseas, Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC on Wednesday. Noble Energy lost 4.7% and offshore-drilling contractor Transocean fell 3.4%.

The euro rose to $1.0939 from $1.0858 late Monday.

U.S. Treasury prices hover near their flatlines, with the benchmark 10-year yield unchanged at 2.31%.

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