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September 23, 2016 - US Daily Stock Market Update
Fed Rally Slips Away as Crude Oil Slumps By The Street
Stocks pulled back on Friday as a relief rally over the Federal Reserve's reluctance to raise interest rates ran out of steam.
The S&P 500 was down 0.6%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7%, and the Nasdaq slipped 0.6%.
Crude oil prices slumped on Friday after the Fed made moves to curtail banks' involvement in the commodities market. The central bank cited legal and financial risks as reason for banks to refrain from trading in physical commodities, particularly in light of environmental disasters such as the BP (BP) oil spill in 2010.
Earlier hopes for a production freeze agreement among the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also faded. An agreement is unlikely to come out next week, when OPEC members meet when attending the International Energy Forum in Algeria, sources told Bloomberg. Earlier, a Reuters report suggested Saudi Arabia was willing to reduce oil output if Iran freezes its own this year.
Oil extended losses after a weekly reading on drilling activity in the U.S. showed an increase. The number of active oil rigs in the U.S. climbed by two to 418 in the past week, according to Baker Hughes data.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 4% to $44.48 a barrel on Friday.
The energy sector was the worst performer on the markets Friday. Major oil companies Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) , PetroChina (PTR) , Total (TOT) and BP (BP) moved lower, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) slid 1.3%.
Stocks had rallied on Wednesday and Thursday after the Fed opted to leave rates unchanged for another month and underlined that while the case for an interest rate hike had strengthened, caution had prevailed. The dot-plot forecast and comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen supported the case for gradual tightening after a small increase in rates this December, as is widely anticipated.
The majority of investors are now pricing in the likelihood of a rate hike in December. Chances are now at 52%, according to CME Group fed funds futures, up from 48% before the announcement on Wednesday.
The manufacturing sector remained sluggish in September as a strong dollar and weak global demand impeded activity. The Markit flash U.S. manufacturing PMI fell to 51.4 in September, a three-month low, down from 52 a month earlier. The measure remained above the 50-mark separating expansion from contraction.
Twitter (TWTR) was a bright spot in a tech sector under pressure on Friday. The social network rocketed 21% higher on reports it is close to securing a buyout offer. Potential buyers include Salesforce (CRM) and Alphabet's Google (GOOGL) , according to CNBC. Suitors are reportedly interested in the big data the network generates.
Shares had fallen before the bell after RBC Capital Markets lowered its rating on the stock to underperform from market perform. Analysts cited a recent survey of advertising professionals that indicated that the social network was among the least favorable in terms of return on investment.
Yahoo! (YHOO) confirmed reports that 500 million users had been affected by a hack in 2014, possibly by a "state-sponsored actor." The tech company said users' email addresses, phone numbers and passwords may had been compromised. Encrypted data such as credit cards had not been exposed. The stock fell 3.1%.
BATS Global Markets surged 22% on reports CBOE Holdings (CBOE) is interested in an acquisition. The exchange operator became a publicly traded entity in April. A deal could be made within weeks, according to a Bloomberg report.
In earnings news, Finish Line (FINL) fell 5.2% despite exceeding sales estimates in its fiscal second quarter. Revenue climbed 5.4% to $509.4 million, above estimates of $495 million. Same-store sales increased 5.1%, much higher than consensus of 2.9% growth.
Facebook (FB) slid 1.6% on reports it had overestimated a key video metric for years. The social network reportedly overstated the average viewing time for its video ads for two years, according to The Wall Street Journal, a concern for advertisers who used the metric to determine ad campaign performance. The company fixed the issue several weeks ago.
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