Markets Right Now: Health care, banks lead US stocks lower

Markets Right Now: Health care, banks lead US stocks lower

Markets Right Now: Health care, banks lead US stocks lower

Stocks are sliding in early trading on Wall Street as health care companies and banks move lower. Over and above this, the British government made a surprise announcement of early election next month.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 6.82 points (0.29 per cent) to end at 2,342.19, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 7.32 points (0.12 per cent) to finish at 5,849.47. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 95 points, or 0.5%, to 20,545.

The US stock market was in for a shock when one of the biggest financial firms Goldman Sachs missed the market expectations. The Nasdaq composite fell 13 points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,843. The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks dipped 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,358. Johnson & Johnson took its biggest one-day loss in a year. They've mostly traded lower since then. The company's top-selling Crohn's disease drug Remicade fell 6 percent.

Low results from the world's biggest health care products organization have disappointed Wall Street as it had high hopes for company earnings.

Johnson & Johnson lost 3.1 percent Tuesday and drug distributor Cardinal Health slumped 11.5 percent. Cardinal Health sank 9.44 dollars, or 11.5%, to 72.39 dollars.

A rough start to the earnings season could add to investor concerns about market valuations, after a strong post-election rally largely based on expectations of pro-growth policies from President Donald Trump's administration drove major indexes to record highs. The stock gave up $8.70, or 3.8 percent, to $217.56.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.11-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.27-to-1 ratio favoured decliners. Goldman has been a major contributor to the Dow's post-election gains.

The company reported first-quarter sales of $17.77bn, but this was below analysts' forecasts of about $18bn.

Goldman Sachs fell 4.6 percent after posting results that fell short of analysts' estimates, dragged down by a rare miss in trading. May formally triggered Britain's exit from the European Union last month and she intends to seek a stronger parliamentary mandate.

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Although Bank of America reported a better-than-expected profit, its shares reversed course to close slightly lower, falling in line with the broader market.

European stocks fell, as the vote creates even more political uncertainty in Europe days before the first round of French presidential voting.

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS: With France's first-round vote due Sunday, polls don't give a clear edge to any of the four leading candidates.

Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 2.5% and France's CAC 40 lost 1.6%.

The Dow is up 70.03 points, or 0.3 percent.

As investors snapped up government bonds, their prices jumped.

According to the S&P Global Markets Intelligence, the investors are expecting the earnings for S&P 500 companies in the first-quarter to rise by almost 10 percent against their performance previous year. Meanwhile the Commerce Department said builders broke ground on fewer homes in March, but construction of houses remains faster in 2017 than it was the year before.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude futures added 4 cents to $52.69 a barrel in NY. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, lost 47 USA cents to US$54.89 per barrel in London.

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