Rising tensions between the US and North Korea weighed on the markets on Wednesday. The blue-chip index briefly slipped from the 22,000 milestone but pared losses to finish above the psychological level. Decline in the Dow was primarily due to losses made by shares of Disney after the media behemoth announced plans to end its distribution deal with Netflix. Escalating geopolitical uncertainties pushed the defense stocks up but weighed on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,048.70, declining by 0.2% or 36.64 points. The S&P 500 Index (INX) declined less than 0.1%, decreasing 0.9 point to close at 2,474.02. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,352.33, slipping 18.13 points or 0.3%. A total of around 6.48 billion shares were traded on Monday, above the last 20-session average of 6.16 billion shares. Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 2.29-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by a 2.47-to-1 ratio.
Disney Slide Fells Dow
Geopolitical uncertainty between US and North Korea heightened, weighing heavily on the broader markets. The blue-chip index was dragged down primarily by a plunge in shares of The Walt Disney Co. (DIS - Free Report) . These losses occurred after the media giant announced its plans to discontinue its distribution deal with Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) and launch its in-house Disney and ESPN steaming services.
However, Disney posted better-than-expected earnings for the third straight quarter, as it reported third-quarter fiscal 2017 results. (Read More: Disney (DIS - Free Report) Q3 Earnings Top, Unveils Streaming Services)
Market Wobbles Due To Geopolitical Tensions
The rising tension between Washington and Pyongyang, after the latter announced plans to attack the Guam Naval base, spiked the defense stocks. Shares of Lockheed Martin (LMT - Free Report) , Raytheon (RTN - Free Report) , General Dynamics (GD - Free Report) and Northrop Grumman (NOC - Free Report) all increased by 1.7%, 2.6%, 1.1% and 1.2% respectively. The Dow Jones U.S. defense index soared 1.6%.
Despite S&P 500’s declined over the trading day, seven of the index’s eleven primary sectors ended in positive territory, with utilities leading the decliners and followed by consumer-discretionary, telecom and financial sectors. According to experts, the index has been surprisingly calm with small intraday moves. The S&P 500 has gained or lost 0.3% for close to 15 sessions now. On Wednesday, the index overcame a point 13 point deficit incurred earlier in the session. The Nasdaq also ended in the red but was able to pare a 61 point decline suffered earlier in the session.
Volatility Rises, But Remains at Record Lows
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) hit a one month high despite trading near all time lows. The best gauge of fear in the market- VIX, was up less than a point by 5.8% to 11.60. By all accounts, this has been the quietest stretch of trading since 1965. One estimate puts the current level of volatility at the lowest in 52 years. Since Jul 19, the S&P 500 has not gained or lost 0.5% over a single session.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Qualcomm Patent Violation by Apple to be Investigated by ITC
The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided to investigate a complaint filed by chipset manufacturer, Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM - Free Report) against tech giant Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) for infringing six of its patents covering various aspects of mobile phone technology, this July.(Read More)
Unlimited Data Plans Heat Up U.S. Prepaid Wireless Industry
The U.S. wireless industry is saturated, where spectrum crunch has become a major issue in the domestic telecom industry. (Read More)
Liberty Interactive Q2 Earnings In Line, Revenues Lag
Liberty Interactive Corp. reported mixed financial results in the second quarter of 2017.(Read More)
American Airlines' July Load Factor Falls, Stock Declines
Premier passenger carrier, American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL - Free Report) witnessed a 0.8% rise in traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs), to 21.9 billion from 21.7 billion reported a year ago.(Read More)
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