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Stock Market News for April 22, 2016

Benchmarks snapped three straight sessions of gains to close in the red on Thursday following declines in telecom stocks. Also, utilities and consumer staples stocks slumped, which in turn had a negative impact on key U.S. indexes. The Dow ended below the psychological level of 18,000 after being dragged down by losses in Travelers and Verizon.

For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decreased 0.6%, or 113.75 points, to close at 17,982.52. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to close at 2,191.48. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,945.89, losing 0.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 5.1% to settle at 13.95. A total of around 7.3 billion shares were traded on Thursday, higher than the last 20-session average of 6.8 billion shares. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 61% stocks that declined, 35% advanced.
 
The Dow ended below the 18,000 level yesterday following sharp declines in Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV). Shares of Travelers fell 6.1% after the company’s first-quarter operating earnings of $2.33 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.57 and also declined 7.9% year over year.
 
Moreover, shares of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) decreased 3.3%, which also had a negative impact on the blue-chip index. Verizon’s shares slumped after the company said that the ongoing worker strike in the company might affect its second quarter earnings adversely. Also, its first quarter revenues of $32.17 billion lagged behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $32.406 billion.
 
Losses in Verizon dragged the telecom services stocks downward. The telecom services stocks within the S&P 500 lost 2.7%. Some of its key holdings including AT&T, Inc. (T), CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL), Frontier Communications Corporation (FTR) and Level 3 Communications, Inc. (LVLT) fell 2.2%, 4.3%, 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively.
 
Additionally, other defensive stocks like utilities and consumer staples also slumped with the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) losing 2.1%. Key utilities stocks including NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE), Duke Energy Corporation (DUK), Southern Company (SO), Dominion Resources, Inc. (D) PG&E Corporation (PCG), decreased 2.3%, 2.4%, 1.7%, 2.2% and 3.1%, respectively.
 
Further, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) fell 1.6%. Key consumer staples stocks including Procter & Gamble Company (PG), Coca-Cola Company (KO), Philip Morris International, Inc. (PM) and CVS Health Corporation (CVS) decreased 0.9%, 1.6%, 1.7% and 1.3%, respectively.
 
In earnings news, United Continental Holdings, Inc’s (UAL) shares slumped 10% after the company’s first-quarter operating revenues of $8,195 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8,239 million. However, adjusted earnings of $1.23 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6 cents.
 
Meanwhile, shares of American Express Company (AXP) rose 0.9% after its first-quarter operating earnings of $1.45 per share, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.36. Its revenues of $8.1 billion also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8.0 billion.
 
Also, General Motors Company’s (GM) shares increased 1.5% after the company’s adjusted earnings of $1.26 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.01. General Motors’ revenues came in at $37.3 billion, higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $34.9 billion.
 
In economic news, the U.S Department of Labor reported that seasonally adjusted initial claims decreased 6,000 to 247,000 in the week ending April 16. Initial claims were less than the consensus estimate of 265,000 and also settled at their lowest level since 1973.
 
Leading Indicators Index advanced 0.2% in March, lower than consensus estimate of 0.3%. This reading follows a decrease of 0.1% in February. The Philadelphia Fed’s business conditions index came in at -1.6 in April, compared to 12.4 in March.


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PG&E CORP (PCG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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GENERAL MOTORS (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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