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Wall Street falls with energy; S&P set for biggest monthly fall since 2016

Stock Markets Feb 28, 2018 03:37PM ET
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© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Wednesday with a drop in energy shares, and the S&P 500 was on track for its biggest monthly fall since January 2016.

The S&P energy index (SPNY) fell 1.3 percent following sharply lower oil prices.

Retailer shares gained, however, following upbeat results.

Booking Holdings (O:BKNG), formerly known as Priceline, rose 7.7 percent after reporting upbeat quarterly profit, helped by higher hotel bookings, while off-price apparel seller TJX (N:TJX) jumped about 10 percent after posting upbeat same-store sales.

The S&P 500 and the Dow also were set to break a 10-month winning streak after a steep early-month selloff sparked by fears that higher inflation will prompt the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates more than investors are expecting.

Stocks have recovered some since then, but the trading has remained volatile.

"We're seeing a little bit of reversal from some of the gains we saw last week. So we're kind of bouncing around the 2,750 area," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 177.61 points, or 0.7 percent, to 25,232.42, the S&P 500 (SPX) lost 9.95 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,734.33 and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) dropped 7.84 points, or 0.11 percent, to 7,322.51.

About 76 percent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped profit estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That is above the average 72 percent recorded in the past four quarters.

Celgene's 8.1 percent drop (O:CELG) was a drag on the healthcare sector after U.S. health regulators rejected the company's application seeking approval of a multiple sclerosis drug.

Wall Street opened higher after the government revised lower its reading on economic activity in the fourth quarter to 2.5 percent. A regional gauge on U.S. Midwest factory activity fell more than forecast in February, while pending home sales unexpectedly declined in January.

The CBOE Volatility index (VIX), a measure of short-term stock market volatility, rose to 19.63.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.78-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.87-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 15 new 52-week highs and 10 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 55 new highs and 62 new lows.

Wall Street falls with energy; S&P set for biggest monthly fall since 2016
 

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Comments (1)
Mathew Fok
Mathew Fok Feb 28, 2018 9:03AM ET
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what is the difference between real consumer spending and personal consumption expenditure?
michael hammer
michael hammer Feb 28, 2018 9:03AM ET
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Real consumer spending is consumer spending adjusted for inflation. Personal consumption expenditure is what each individual spends on things such as food or clothing. This doesn't include things like tools, trackers, or anything you can use to make money.
 
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