Stocks Finish Lower
Stocks ended lower for a second day in a row as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the start of the earnings season. The earnings season will be kicked off by Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) today.
Industrials led the losses in the S&P 500 in trading today, ending the day 0.96% lower. Conglomerates also fell sharply, ending the day 0.76% lower. Basic Materials sector ended the day 0.45% lower, while Energy sector ended the day 0.39% lower. Financials finished 0.40% lower. Healthcare and Transportation were the only sectors in the S&P 500 to finish the day in green. Healthcare sector ended the day 0.33% higher, while Transportation sector ended the day 0.01% higher.
Alcoa shares edged higher ahead of the release of company’s fourth-quarter financial results. The aluminum producer is expected to report earnings of $0.06 per share for the fourth quarter. Alcoa shares ended the day 0.33% higher at $9.13.
Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) shares were among the major losers today. The stock fell after the company said that its sales in China would fall more than forecast. YUM shares ended the day 4.20% lower at $65.04.
Other major movers in trading today were Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which ended the day 0.27% higher at $525.31, Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON), which ended the day 2.67% higher at $98.50, and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), which ended the day 1.23% lower at $29.06.
European markets ended mostly lower earlier today, with the EURO STOXX 50 Index closing 0.15% lower. Asian markets also fell overnight, with the Nikkei 225 Index in Japan closing 0.86% lower, and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong closing 0.94% lower.