Sun, Oct 30, 2016 - Page 14 News List

US stocks fall on Clinton e-mail probe

CHANGING WINDS:The S&P 500 had risen as much as 0.4 percent on news that the US economy grew 2.9 percent in the third quarter, its fastest pace in two years

Reuters, NEW YORK

Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to reporters following a campaign rally at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

US stocks on Friday declined in a volatile session, but were able to partially recover from a sharp drop spurred by news that the FBI is to review more e-mails related to Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail use.

Each of the three major indices on Wall Street fell to session lows, with the S&P 500 dropping 1 percent in an hour after FBI Director James Comey said in a letter to several congressional Republicans the agency had learned of the existence of e-mails that appeared to be pertinent to its investigation.

The US election is scheduled to take place in 10 days, on Nov. 8.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 8.29 points, or 0.05 percent, to 18,161.19, the S&P 500 lost 6.6 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,126.41 and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 25.87 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,190.10.

For the week, the S&P 500 dipped 0.7 percent and the NASDAQ lost 1.3 percent, while the Dow managed a 0.1 percent gain.

“The headline hit, everyone panicked for a second that it was going to affect the outcome of the election,” Wedbush Equity Management LLC chief investment officer Stephen Massocca said.

The benchmark S&P 500 index fell as much as 0.6 percent on the session, hitting a low of 2,119.36 before recovering.

“People calmed down and considered what it really meant, that in all likelihood it really isn’t going to impact the election,” Massocca said.

Earlier in the session, the S&P 500 had risen as much as 0.4 percent after economic data showed the US economy grew 2.9 percent in the third quarter, its fastest pace in two years, and upbeat earnings from Google parent company, Alphabet Inc.

Alphabet shares were up 0.3 percent at US$819.56.

While the economic data supported the case for an interest rate hike, the US Federal Reserve is unlikely to make a move at its meeting next week, as it falls just days ahead of the US presidential election.

Many market participants are instead expecting a rate hike in December.

Investors also digested the latest wave of earnings reports with the hope the quarter snaps a year-long earnings recession.

About 73 percent of the S&P 500 companies that reported have topped Wall Street expectations, with growth for the quarter now expected to be 3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters institutional brokers’ estimate system.

The quarter had been expected to show a decline of 0.5 percent at the start of this month.

On the negative side, Amazon.com suffered its worst day in about nine months, down 5.2 percent to US$776.32 after the online retailer said heavy investments in the crucial holiday quarter would hurt profits.

The stock was the top drag on the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.49-to-1 ratio; on NASDAQ, a 1.41-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 10 new 52-week highs and 10 new lows; the NASDAQ Composite recorded 45 new highs and 129 new lows.

About 7.31 billion shares changed hands in US exchanges, compared with the 6.34 billion daily average over the past 20 sessions.

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