Benchmarks finished in the red on Thursday following continuing uncertainty over the upcoming Presidential election. Moreover, shares of Facebook declined after it warned investors that the potential for ad revenues will start slowing soon, which in turn also weighed on major indexes. The S&P 500 registered eight straight sessions of declines for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. Further, the Dow fell for sixth consecutive trading day, while the Nasdaq registered declines for eight straight sessions for the first time in ten months. Also, the CBOE Volatility Index closed at its highest level in more than four months.
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) decreased 0.2%, to close at 17,930.67. The S&P 500 fell 0.4% to close at 2,088.66. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,058.41, losing 0.9%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) jumped 14.4% to settle at 22.10. A total of around 7.4 billion shares were traded on Thursday, higher than the last 20-session average of 6.5 billion shares. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 58% stocks that declined, 38% advanced.
What Weighed On the Benchmarks?
Uncertainty continued to prevail in the markets following last Friday’s news that the FBI was probing Hillary Clinton’s personal emails. Recent poll results have showed that the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has tightened. According to the RealClearPolitics polls Clinton only has a 1.7-point lead over Trump, significantly lower than the 7 point lead she held in mid-October.
Shares of Facebook (FB - Free Report) fell 5.7% after the company noted that, although ad revenues will continue to grow, they will face tougher year-over-year comparisons in the coming quarters. Facebook also said ad revenue rates will “come down meaningfully” as a result. (Read More: Here's Why Facebook Stock Is Down Today )
Declines in Facebook led the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) to fall 1% and become the worst performer among the S&P 500 companies. Key holdings from this sector including Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) and Alphabet Inc. ( (GOOGL - Free Report) decreased 1.6% and 0.8%, respectively. Both the companies possess a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
Economic Data On Focus
In economic news, initial claims increased last week by 7,000 to 265,000, reaching its highest level in almost three months. It was also higher than the consensus estimate of 257,000.
Moreover, the Institute for Supply Management reported that ISM Services Index decreased from 57.1% in September to 54.8% last month. It also missed consensus estimate of 56%.
Meanwhile, factory orders increased for third consecutive months in September. Orders increased 0.3% in September after advancing 0.4% in August.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, non-farm business sector labor productivity surged 3.1% in the third quarter of 2016, and was better than consensus estimate of an increase of 1.7%.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Motorola Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates in Q3
Motorola Solutions Inc.’s (MSI - Free Report) third-quarter 2016 earnings per share comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and improved 71.1% from the year-ago figure. ( Read More)
Starbucks Beats Q4 Earnings, Hikes Dividend by 25%
Shares of Starbucks Corporation (SBUX - Free Report) rallied following record fourth quarter and fiscal 2016 financial and operating results. (Read More)
Kraft Heinz Tops Q3 Earnings, Weak Sales Hit Stock
The Kraft Heinz Company (KHC - Free Report) posted mixed third-quarter 2016 results wherein earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues missed the same. ( Read More)
Church & Dwight Q3 Earnings Meet; Stock Down 6.6%
Shares of Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (CHD - Free Report) declined nearly 6.6% yesterday after the company reported lower-than-expected top-line results for third-quarter 2016. ( Read More)
International Flavors to Acquire Fragrance Resources
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF - Free Report) recently announced that it has agreed to acquire the privately-held fragrance company, Fragrance Resources. ( Read More)
Confidential: Zacks' Best Investment Ideas
Would you like to see a hand-picked "all-star" selection of investment ideas from the man who heads up Zacks' trading and investing services? Steve Reitmeister knows when key trades are about to be triggered and which of our experts has the hottest hand. Click for his selected trades right now >>