New York, – US Stocks started out the second quarter of 2017 with a slight decline, as investors prepare to for the earnings season.
Companies will start reporting results for the first quarter of the calendar this week. However, the biggest earnings announcements will be made in the second half of March as well as in April. Over the past few years and particularly post the 2008 crisis, the first quarter has usually been the softest for the US economy. Officials usually attribute bad weather to the slowdown seen in Q1. Esteemed financial services company IHS Markit estimates that the growth in the US economy during the first quarter of this year would be 2.5 percent.
However today investors seemed wary and the market was slightly down. The Dow Jones fell more than 100 points at one point, before recovering and closing the day down 13 points. Du Pont, American Express, and Cisco were heavy losers during today’s session. The S&P 500 meanwhile fell 0.16 percent, almost four points. Technology stocks weighed down the index. This meant that tech-heavy Nasdaq was affected, the index fell 0.29 percent.
One of the reasons for the downbeat sentiment today was the disappointing car sales. The top two U.S. auto makers reported mixed results for March amid growing concerns about the industry’s inventory levels and reliance on discounts. General Motors reported a 1.6 percent increase in sales, Market Watch reported today. Meanwhile Ford reported a 7.2 percent decline. However there were some positive news for the Auto business as Tesla, which sells electric vehicles, announced that it sold 25,000 cars in the first quarter of 2017. The number was the highest the company has ever achieved and its pushed its market cap to an all-time high, more notably to a higher market cap. than that of Ford.
Friday will be the most important day this week for investors, as the employment and wage growth numbers for February will be announced by the Department of Labor. The US Fed says that it watches both numbers closely before making a decision on interest rates. (QNA)
Source: Qatar News Agency