U.S. Stocks Little Changed as Utility Gains Offset Phone Shares

Doll: Growth Will Bring Consumer Along for the Ride

U.S. stocks closed little changed Thursday as investors assessed 4Q earnings reports and economic data met analysts’ expectations.

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.06% to 2,280.85 at 4 p.m. in New York, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.03% to 19,885. The dollar slumped after the Federal Reserve offered little to whet the appetite of bulls seeking stronger signals about the pace of rate hikes. Investors are watching for Friday’s January jobs report and the narrative from the White House for signs of pro-growth policies.

NEW CHART

  • Financial stocks were down 0.4%, with banks 0.7% lower in the fourth decline in five days; financials are now down 1.8% on the week
  • Utility stocks and staples up at least 0.9%
  • Energy shares rallying after falling at the market open, as Bloomberg Commodity Index dipped 0.1%; oil down 0.3%
  • VIX up 0.5% for third advance this week
  • The S&P 500 has lost steam after reaching a record close on Jan. 25. Valuations are “clearly expensive” on book and earnings measures in the U.S., Credit Suisse Group AG strategists wrote in a note Thursday
  • Earnings are also in focus, with some 35 S&P 500 companies reporting on Thursday
  • Facebook erased gains, falling 1.8% after reporting sales that topped forecasts
  • Nearly half of the benchmark’s members have released quarterly results so far this season, of which 74% beat profit estimates and half topped sales forecasts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg
  • EARNINGS:
    • After-market Thursday: GoPro (GPRO), Hartford Financial Services (HIG), Fortinet (FTNT), Apartment Investment & Management Co (AIV), Hanesbrands (HBI), Essex Property Trust (ESS), FireEye (FEYE), Gigamon (GIMO), Motorola Solutions (MSI), Amgen (AMGN), Amazon.com (AMZN), Kimco Realty (KIM), Visa (V), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), PerkinElmer (PKI), Computer Sciences (CSC)
    • Pre-market Friday: Apollo Global Management (APO), Berry Plastics Group (BERY), Weyerhaeuser Co (WY), Madison Square Garden (MSG), LyondellBasell Industries (LYB), Autonation (AN)

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