US stocks close slightly lower

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New York– US equities wrapped up the first trading day of the week with small losses, as investors adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward the latest development of US-China trade talks, and braced for the upcoming third-quarter corporate earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 29.23 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 26,787.36. The S&P 500 decreased 4.12 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 2,966.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 8.39 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 8,048.65, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

Six of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded lower around market close, with the utilities sector down over 0.6 per cent, leading the laggards.

The majority of the blue-chip stocks extended losses around the closing bell, with shares of Cisco Systems and Walmart down 1.10 per cent and 0.89 per cent respectively, leading the losers.

Shares of Nike rose 1.07 per cent, after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the company’s stock from “underperform” to “neutral,” in that challenges facing the firm during recent years have been offset by “new sportswear apparel and growth of sub-US $100 footwear.”

The third-quarter earnings season is set to kick off on Tuesday, with Wall Street hitting a downbeat note in the forecast for the to-be-released corporate performance.

S&P 500 earnings are expected to shrink by 3.2 per cent in the third quarter, according to data by financial markets data provider Refinitiv.

The estimate falls below the 0.8-per cent-gain forecast for the second quarter. If it happens in reality, it will mark the first decline since the earnings recession that ended in 2016.

US equities advanced last week, which was marked by a new round of trade talks between China and the United States as well as the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

For the week, the Dow rose 0.91 per cent, the S&P 500 was up 0.62 per cent and the Nasdaq climbed 0.93 per cent. (IANS)


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