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U.S. stocks post mixed weekly results amid Fed decision, corporate earnings

2019-05-05 00:19

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NEW YORK, May 4 (Xinhua) -- U.S. equities posted mixed results in the busy week featuring a key announcement from the Federal Reserve, a wave of corporate earnings and some closely followed economic data.

In the week ending May 3, the Dow declined 0.14 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose 0.20 percent and 0.22 percent, respectively.

Wall Street finished solidly higher on Friday to end a multi-session skid after a hotter-than-expected jobs report underscored the health of U.S. economy.

At Friday's close, the Dow jumped 197.16 points to 26,504.95 and the S&P 500 rose 28.11 points to 2,945.63. The Nasdaq climbed 127.22 points to 8,164.00, a fresh record.

All 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory for the day.

The buying appetite was fueled by the jobs data which showed U.S. economy added 263,000 new hires in April. The reading easily topped the 217,000 forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, construction, health care, and social assistance.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.6 percent in April, the lowest rate since December 1969, said the U.S. Department of Labor.

The data helped equities shake off a two-day slide driven by the disappointment after the Federal Reserve signaled no rate cut on the horizon.

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday left interest rates unchanged and downplayed concerns about weak inflation, as the central bank saw no need to alter its "patient" approach on interest-rate moves.

In a statement after concluding a two-day policy meeting, the Fed said the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policy-making body, decided to maintain the benchmark rate in a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent.

The Fed also dashed investors' expectations for potential coming rate cuts to spur growth.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference that the central bank's policy stance "is appropriate" at the moment and "we don't see a strong case for moving in either direction."

The comments came when Wall Street continued with a batch of corporate earnings.

Google-parent Alphabet reported first-quarter revenue that missed market expectations. The weaker revenue was mainly driven by the decelerating ad sales growth at Google, according to the company. The stock declined about 6.9 percent for the week.

Apple delivered better-than-anticipated quarterly results and posted strong guidance for next quarter, sending the stock to book a 3.4 percent weekly gain.

More than half of the S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly earnings by far. Of those that have reported, about 75 percent have beaten earnings estimates, according to FactSet.

On the economic front, U.S. consumer confidence index rose to 129.2 in April from 124.2 in March, said a report released on Tuesday by the New York-based Conference Board. The reading topped analysts' expectations.

U.S. personal income rose 0.1 percent in March, following a 0.2-percent increase in February, according to estimates released Monday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The personal consumption expenditures increased 0.9 percent in March, said the report.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had been expecting a 0.8-percent gain in consumer spending and a 0.4-percent gain in income.

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