Wall Street Nears Longest Weekly Losing Streak Since September

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The current week on Wall Street appears to be winding down quietly, with U.S. stocks showing little movement after a brief surge in oil prices overnight due to concerns about conflict in the Middle East.

Early trading saw the S&P 500 inching up by 0.1%, potentially marking its third consecutive week of losses, which would be its longest such streak since September, before it embarked on a record-breaking run.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 176 points, or 0.5%, by 9:45 a.m. Eastern time, while the Nasdaq composite dipped by 0.2%.

In the oil market, Brent crude edged up by 0.1% to $87.18 per barrel after briefly spiking above $90 overnight. Concerns arose as Iranian troops engaged in an apparent drone attack on a major air base and nuclear site, prompting market jitters. However, crude prices retreated from their highs as doubts emerged about Iran’s potential response.

On Wall Street, Netflix saw a 7.7% decline despite reporting stronger-than-expected profits for the latest quarter. Although analysts viewed it as a mostly positive quarter, investors were disappointed by Netflix’s decision to cease quarterly updates on its subscriber numbers starting next year.

Procter & Gamble also weighed on the market after reporting lower revenue for its latest quarter than analysts had anticipated. Sales of baby care products weakened following price hikes, and its super-premium SK-II skincare brand saw declining sales, offsetting gains elsewhere.

While Procter & Gamble reported stronger profits for its fiscal third quarter than expected and raised its earnings forecast for the fiscal year, it did not revise its sales outlook, leading to a 1.7% drop in its stock.

Offsetting some of the market’s losses were positive earnings reports from American Express, which rose by 3.4%, and Fifth Third Bancorp, which gained 4%.

Companies are facing heightened pressure to meet quarterly forecasts, particularly as interest rates, a key factor in stock pricing, are expected to remain high. Federal Reserve officials have indicated a reluctance to lower rates despite earlier expectations for multiple cuts this year, citing ongoing concerns about inflation.

Traders now anticipate only one or two rate cuts this year, compared to initial expectations for six or more. This shift in expectations has impacted bond yields, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury easing slightly to 4.61%.

In global markets, European stock indexes were mixed, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell by 2.7% amid reports of a slowdown in the country’s inflation rate and anticipation regarding the Bank of Japan’s next moves.

Featured Image: Freepik @ wirestock

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About the author: Stephanie Bedard-Chateauneuf has over six years of experience writing financial content for various websites. Over the years, Stephanie has covered various industries, with a primary focus on tech stocks, consumer stocks, health stocks, and personal finance. This stock lover likes to invest for the long-term. Stephanie has an MBA in finance.