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Market ended in the red on Thursday after investors lost their appetite for stocks following heightened speculations of a December rate hike by the Fed. Further, shares of Apple declined after the launch of iPhone 8. Moreover, Fed’s decision to start unwinding its balance sheet from October also dampened investor sentiment. Meanwhile, President Trump promised to blacklist individuals and organizations engaging in any business with North Korea.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,359.23, losing 0.2%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) decreased 0.3% to close at 2,500.60. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,422.69, decreasing 0.5%. A total of 5.54 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.03 billion shares. Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1.35-to-1 ratio.  On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by 1.24-to-1 ratio.  The CBOE VIX increased 1.1% to close at 9.89.

Dow, S&P 500 Snap Winning Streak

Benchmarks ended lower on Thursday after chances of a rate hike in December increased following the Fed’s statement on Wednesday. FedWatch estimated the probability of a December rate hike to be 70%, up from its previous estimate of 51% — just before the Fed’s statement. Moreover, Fed’s decision to start unwinding its humungous $4.5 trillion balance sheet from October hurt the investor sentiment and weighed on the broader markets. (Read More)

Shares of Apple (AAPL - Free Report) declined 1.7% after speculations regarding demand for its recently launched smartphone iPhone 8 weighed on the broader markets. Speculations regarding low demand for iPhone 8 arose after the response to its launch was less than exuberant.

The Dow snapped its nine day winning streak, losing 53.36 points. However, the blue-chip index hit an intraday high of 22,419.51, only to pare gains due to a fall in shares of Apple. Moreover, shares of Procter & Gamble (PG - Free Report) declined almost 2% and also contributed to losses for the Dow. 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.

The S&P 500 lost almost 8 points to end in negative territory. Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P, nine ended lower with technology shares leading the decliners. The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) decreased 0.6%. Loss in shares of Apple had negative ramifications for the S&P 500 as well. Moreover, shares of Nvidia Corp. (NVDA - Free Report) and Facebook (FB - Free Report) also declined 2.7% and 0.6%, respectively and weighed on the broader index. Meanwhile, Nasdaq shed 33.35 points and ended in the red after technology shares tanked.

Bank Stocks Edge Higher on Rate Hike Speculations

However, rising probability of a rate hike in December did not bode ill for all sectors. In fact, rate sensitive sectors gained traction on the backdrop of such speculations. Bank stocks surged after the statement from Fed, propelling the financial sector higher. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) gained 0.2%. Shares of Goldman Sachs (GS - Free Report) , Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) , Citibank (C - Free Report) and JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) increased 0.7%, 0.4%, 0.4% and 0.5% respectively.

Fresh Sanctions on North Korea

President Trump issued fresh sanctions against North Korea in response to the country’s missile launching spree. Trump promised to blacklist individuals and organizations engaging in business with North Korea in an announcement on Thursday. Tensions between North Korea and the United States have been lingering for some time now. Market watchers reacted to such statements by remaining risk averse which resulted in low trade volumes for the day.

Economic Data

On the economic data front, the initial claims for the week came in at 259,000, declining steeply from the previous week figure of 282,000. Also, the latest figure for initial claims came in below the consensus estimate of 302,000. This indicated a steep decline in the number of new claims from the states of Texas and Florida — the areas worst affected by the two devastating hurricanes- Harvey and Irma.

Stocks That Made Headlines

Caterpillar on Growth Path, August Sales Rise 11%

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Free Report) reported rise in sales in August, owing to improvement in all regions particularly Asia Pacific and construction sector. (Read More)

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