Slump in oil prices dragged benchmarks down on Friday. Skepticism that Saudi Arabia will reach an agreement on production limits this week, hammered oil prices. Apple also weighed on the broader markets amid iPhone sales concerns. A Fed-induced rally, however, helped the major indexes close in the green for the week. Even though the case for a rate hike strengthened, for now the Fed refrained from raising rates.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.7%, to close at 18,261.45. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% to close at 2,164.69. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,305.75, decreasing 0.6%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) gained 2.3% to settle at 12.29. A total of around 3.2 billion shares were traded on Friday on the NYSE. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 66% stocks that declined, 31% advanced.
Oil Slides as OPEC Deal Seems Unlikely
Investor sentiment took a beating on Friday, thanks to a renewed slide in oil prices. Crude dropped after Saudi Arabia said that it doesn’t expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reach an agreement on output limits, when it meets on Wednesday in Algeria. The group’s general secretary had already said that such a meeting is informal and is not for decision making.
Countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to disagree over oil production limits. Both these countries have an age-old political rivalry and are in a fierce competition when it comes to selling more oil. WTI and Brent crude fell 4.1% and 3.8% to $44.48 per barrel and $45.89 a barrel, respectively.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) decreased 1.3% amid sharp drop in oil prices. Dow components such as Chevron Corporation (CVX - Free Report) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM - Free Report) dropped 0.8% and 0.1%, respectively. Both these companies possess a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Apple Adds to Woes
Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) also contributed to the negative sentiment. Shares of the iPhone maker fell 1.7% on Friday after research company GfK raised concerns about sales of the latest iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (read more: Will iPhone 7 Push Apple Back to Bull Market Territory?).
The Gfk report showed that iPhone 7 and 7 Plus sales in Europe fell 25% year-over-year during its launch weekend. Meantime, Digitimes showed that chip orders for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is expected to decline around 20% sequentially in the first quarter of 2017.
Stocks Notch Weekly Gains
For the week, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq gained 0.8%, 1.2% and 1.2%, respectively. Benchmarks notched weekly gains as investors cheered the Federal Reserve’s latest policy announcement. The Fed opted to keep short-term interest rates unchanged “for the time being” as they sought further evidence of economic strength.
Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that she is in no hurry to raise rates as inflation continued to run below the Fed’s target level of 2%. She also noted that business investment remains soft and wants to see further improvement in the job market. How the markets fare in the upcoming months surrounding the upcoming presidential election is also expected to play a crucial role in determining such moves (read more: Fed Holds Off Rate Hike for Now: Top 5 Gainers).
Stocks that Made Headlines
Salesforce Eyeing Twitter Per Reports, Does it Make Sense?
Twitter Inc. (TWTR - Free Report) is in talks with several potential buyers and salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM - Free Report) is one of them. (Read More)
Amgen's Biosimilar of Abbvie's Humira Gets FDA Approval
Amgen, Inc. (AMGN - Free Report) today announced the approval of Amjevita, a biosimilar version to AbbVie Inc.’s (ABBV - Free Report) rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira. (Read More)
T-Mobile US to Buy Spectrum from Charter Communications
T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS - Free Report) recently entered into an agreement with Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR - Free Report) to acquire a license of 700 MHz A Block spectrum for Eastern Montana from the latter. (Read More)
Office Depot to Offload its European Operations to Aurelius
Office Depot, Inc. (ODP - Free Report) shares gained after the company announced its decision to sell its European operation to The Aurelius Group. (Read More)
CenturyLink to Unveil 17-Channel OTT Service in 2017
U.S. telecom operator CenturyLink Inc. (CTL - Free Report) plans to launch over the top (OTT) services in the beginning of 2017. (Read More)
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