December 3, 2020

Stocks Falter on Wall Street Over Oil Worries

Brent crude oil rose above $124 a barrel, pushed higher by an escalation of violence in the Middle East, as well as post-election unrest in Nigeria, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. In New York, crude oil was trading 44 cents higher, at 112.73 a barrel.

Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York, said that trading activity would most likely be subdued as many major European markets remained closed over the long Easter weekend.

In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 18.51 points, or 0.2 percent, at 12,487.48, and the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index was off 1.42, or 0.1 percent, at 1,335.96. The Nasdaq composite index was up 1.44, or 0.1 percent, at 2,821.60.

Silver jumped more than 5 percent and gold rose as investors sought shelter against a weaker dollar, while prices of grains surged on supply fears.

Investors are also looking for clues this week from the Federal Reserve, which is meeting to discuss the direction of monetary policy when the Fed’s bond-buying program ends in June.

Companies reporting earnings on Monday include Express Scripts and Ameriprise Financial. Another 180 S. P. 500 companies are scheduled to report results this week.

Of the companies in the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index that have reported to date, 75 percent beat analysts’ expectations. That is just above the average over the last four quarters but well above the average of 62 percent since 1994, according to Thomson Reuters data.

RadioShack’s quarterly profit fell because of weakness in its T-Mobile business and higher costs related to the roll-out of its wireless kiosks in Target stores.

Astec Industries, a maker of road construction equipment, posted better-than-expected quarterly results helped by higher asphalt and mining group revenue.

Japan’s Nikkei stock average inched down in thin trade on Monday as investors grew cautious ahead of key corporate earnings reports and a closely watched Federal Reserve meeting this week but buoyant shipping stocks provided support.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=6c276fb3ca75417c303860bc48b7856e

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