TODAY'S PAPER
60° Good Evening
60° Good Evening
Business

U.S. stock market wavers in early trading

A trader works on the floor of the

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 14, 2015 on Wall Street. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

The U.S. stock market wavered in early trading on Friday, as oil companies rose along with the price of crude oil. Shares of big banks and other financial firms fell.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained six points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,999, as of 10 a.m. on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,356, while the Nasdaq composite rose 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,590.

The S&P 500, a widely used benchmark for U.S. investment funds, has slumped 2 percent this week, putting it on course for its third straight weekly loss.

GOLDMAN: A slump in trading revenue helped pull Goldman Sachs's quarterly earnings down 10 percent. The Wall Street investment bank's fixed income, currency and commodities division saw a 29 percent revenue slump.

Goldman's stock dropped $3.84, or 2 percent, to $174.59.

ECONOMY: U.S. factory production rose in December as manufacturers churned out more furniture, computers and clothing. The Federal Reserve said factory production increased 0.3 percent last month, the fourth straight monthly gain.

OIL: The price of benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 97 cents, or 2 percent, to $47.22 a barrel.

MEDIOCRE START: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and other big banks have reported sluggish profits and sales this week, getting the fourth-quarter earnings season off to a slow start. Analysts predict that big corporations will post earnings growth of 4 percent, according to S&P Capital IQ. Sales are expected to rise just 2.1 percent, largely the result of falling revenue for oil companies.

CROSSING THE POND: Germany's DAX crept up 0.2 percent, and France's CAC 40 added 0.5 percent.

Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.2 percent.

SWISS SHOCK: The Swiss National Bank, or SNB, said Thursday that it decided to ditch an increasingly expensive policy to cap the rise of the Swiss franc. After the announcement, the Swiss franc spiked against both the euro and the dollar. The SNB had prevented the euro from trading below 1.20 Swiss francs. On Friday, the franc was stable, but Switzerland's stock market sank again, losing 4 percent.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "At least for the short term the Swiss bank action has opened up a new front of financial markets risk," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. "The Swiss bank's move last night is a reminder to investors and traders that central bank action is a source of market risk given the scale of their activities in recent years and its impact on economic activity." ASIA'S DAY: Major markets in Asia ended with losses. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 1.4 percent, while South Korea's Kospi fell 1.4 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed with a loss of 1 percent.

CURRENCIES: The dollar edged up to 116.52 yen from 116.21 yen while the euro fell to $1.1594 from $1.1619.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news