Stock Market Searches For Direction As Traders Decipher Powell Testimony

Stock Market Searches For Direction As Traders Decipher Powell Testimony

Out of 500 stocks in the S&P index, 427 (85 per cent) ended their day with losses. "We are seeing some attempts to undermine this very foundation of the bull market, and it doesn't bode well for S&P 500 companies and their global peers".

The president told industry executives Thursday he would impose a tariff of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, sparking fears the move will lead to other countries putting up trade barriers that will hurt the global economy.

Excluding one-off charges and adjustments, earnings per share were positive at US$1.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.89 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 7,284.90. For the month, the Dow lost 4.4%, the S&P 500 fell 3.8%, and the Nasdaq lost 1.5%.

When U.S. markets opened for trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 index plunged as much as 1.1 per cent to join a worldwide sell-off after President Donald Trump doubled down on "trade war" talk.

Shares of TD were up 92 cents, or 1.24 per cent, to $74.92 after its first-quarter profits beat market expectations, despite a hefty charge due to US tax reform, to close out another strong earnings season for Canada's biggest lenders.

He also said "inflation remains below our 2 per cent longer-run objective". Some investors took that as a signal that the Fed may get more aggressive, which sent stocks down and Treasury yields higher.

Stronger-than-expected economic releases earlier lent support to markets, with the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index hitting a 13-year high.

Those losses in early February pushed the S&P 500 down more than 10 percent from a January 26 record high, confirming the market was in a correction. His address to congress signalled the Fed will keep raising interest rates to contain inflation.

Patterson Companies fell to the biggest loss in the S&P 500 after it reported weaker earnings for the latest quarter than analysts expected and said that its chief financial officer was leaving. (NASDAQ: FTR) which traded down nearly 24% at $7.03.

On the commodities front, oil has dropped slightly and gold is also down. The contract lost 65 cents to settle at $60.99 per barrel on Thursday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to a fresh 15-month low, slipping to 106.01 from 106.24 yen late Thursday.

France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent and Germany's DAX was down 2 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 dived 1.6%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index popped 0.7%. London's FTSE 100 was down 0.7% in afternoon trade.