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  1. US Stocks: Nasdaq hit records, Dow muted as govt shutdown looms

US Stocks: Nasdaq hit records, Dow muted as govt shutdown looms

The Dow was barely changed in choppy trade. Nike, Philip Morris and Home Depot rose between 1.4 percent and 4.7 percent on upbeat analyst expectations.

By: | New York | Published: January 20, 2018 2:33 AM
US Stocks, Nasdaq, Dow Jones, US govt shutdown US Stocks: Nasdaq hit records, Dow muted as govt shutdown looms

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose on Friday, led by gains in consumer stocks and hitting intraday highs, even as a possible government shutdown loomed. The Dow was barely changed in choppy trade. Nike, Philip Morris and Home Depot rose between 1.4 percent and 4.7 percent on upbeat analyst expectations. Losses in IBM and American Express, however, capped the Dow’s ascent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.89 points, or 0.15 percent, to 26,056.7, the S&P 500 gained 11.8 points, or 0.42 percent, to 2,809.83 and the Nasdaq Composite added 39.16 points, or 0.54 percent, to 7,335.21. Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.2 percent gain in the consumer staples index and a 0.8 percent rise in consumer discretionary stocks.

A disappointing full-year profit forecast from International Business Machines Corp pushed its shares down 3.8 percent, on track for their biggest single-day loss since July. American Express slipped 1.7 percent after posting its first quarterly loss in 26 years and suspending share buybacks for the next six months. “It’s a mixed session,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia, while noting the likely fleeting impact of a possible government shutdown if the Senate fails to pass a stopgap spending measure. “Whatever immediate concern the government shutdown brings to the market, I think it will swiftly overcome,” Luschini said.

The U.S. Senate was racing to avert a shutdown ahead of a midnight deadline on the spending measure amid lingering disagreements between Democrats and Republicans. Negotiations continued on Friday after Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump at the White House to address the impasse. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.05-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.60-to-1 ratio favored advancers. The S&P 500 posted 104 new 52-week highs and 9 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 161 new highs and 27 new lows.

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