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.
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Post Written By: Ed Liston
Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.