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US stocks finish mixed as investors focus on earnings

by Paul
US stocks

The Dow and S&P 500 fell on Monday, while the Nasdaq eked out a modest gain, as investors prepared for a bleak first-quarter earnings season due to the Covid-19 crisis

The Dow and S&P 500 fell on Monday, while the Nasdaq eked out a modest gain, as investors prepared for a bleak first-quarter earnings season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 329 points, or 1.39%, to 23,391, the S&P 500 lost 28 points, or 1.01%, to 2,762 and the Nasdaq Composite added 39 points, or 0.48%, to 8,192, its first three-day streak of gains since 12 February.

Stocks pared losses late in the day, with Amazon.com gaining 6.2% as the retail giant said it would hire 75,000 more people amid a surge in demand for online orders.

The S&P banking subsector declined 4.1%, with JP Morgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co set to report on Tuesday and analysts expecting a bleak outlook for the year.

Stocks were not helped much by crude prices, which put in a mixed performance late Sunday and Monday after Opec, Russia and the US reached a deal to cut crude production in May..

Volume was lighter than usual with European and other markets still closed following Easter Sunday.

What you’re seeing at the end of the day is investors who are sitting with too much cash are buying on the dips, said Dennis Dick, head of market structure and proprietary trader at Bright Trading in Las Vegas.

It is believed that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statement on Monday that “the worst is over” as US hospitalizations appeared to be reaching a plateau helped to ease some investor concerns. He added that he would announce a coordinated plan on reopening businesses.

Royal Caribbean Cruises, Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings tumbled as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its “no sail order” for all cruise ships.

Ford Motor shares slumped 3.9% after the auto maker on Monday warned about lower sales in the first quarter.

In Asia, stocks in Asia edged higher on Tuesday in morning trade ahead of the release of Chinese trade data for March.

The Nikkei 225 of Japan added 1.47% while the Topix index gained 0.85%. Mainland Chinese stocks inched higher in early trade, with the Shanghai composite up around 0.62%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.56%.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1.41%. Shares in Australia also edged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.66%.

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