Markets Right Now: Stocks move lower on Wall Street

Stocks finish down as tech companies fall again

The S&P 500 last week posted its biggest weekly drop since March, and some market-watchers said it was not clear that the recent volatility was over. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 89.44 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 25,250.55. The Nasdaq composite added 214 points, or 2.9 per cent, to 7,645.

The S&P 500 index rallied 2.1 percent, its largest jump since March 26, to 2,809.92.

Asian markets rose on Wednesday as robust USA corporate earnings and encouraging data assuaged worries about softening global growth. Brent crude, the worldwide standard, rose 8 cents to $81.49 a barrel.

Both banks reported third-quarter earnings Tuesday that beat analyst expectations by a wide margin.

IHS Markit trimmed its forecast for the U.S. holiday shopping season to 4.7 per cent growth from the prior 5.0 per cent projection, citing higher gasoline prices and the drag on discretionary spending following the pullback in the stock market.

Harris and L3 are combining to form L3 Harris Technologies, which will have annual sales of about $US16 billion. The company has emphasized responsible growth recently, and like other banks, it's benefiting from last year's corporate tax cut and rising interest rates. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks had its biggest rally in nearly two years as it surged 43.74 points, or 2.8 percent, to 1,596.84. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 3.16 per cent. Even technology companies, which bore the brunt of the recent rout, were able to gain.

Germany's DAX jumped 0.8 per cent and the FTSE 100 in Britain rose 0.5 per cent. France's CAC 40 fell less than 0.1 per cent.

Facebook rallied 2.7 percent while Amazon and Apple were up 2.3 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

While investors' fears about rising rates and inflation seem to have eased, trading in October has been very volatile. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished 0.1 percent higher. A number of other indexes have fallen at least 10 per cent, known as a "correction".

U.S. data showed retail sales in September inched higher by 0.1 per cent, well below the 0.6 per cent gain projected by analysts, although there was some good news in the details.

US benchmark crude oil added 0.2 percent to $71.92 per barrel in NY. Natural gas prices continued to surge as the weather in the U.S. grew colder. The Dow slumped almost 1,400 points as bond yields jumped and investors anxious that a rapid increase in interest rates would slow economic growth.

"We don't expect the Kingdom to be as accommodative to the White House requests for stronger production", he said, adding that the Saudis could cut as much as 500,000 barrels per day of production "as a warning shot should the USA opt to impose any type of sanction in response to the Khashoggi developments".

In another sign investors were nervous about stocks, gold rose 0.7 per cent to $US1,230.30 an ounce and silver picked up 0.6 per cent to $US14.73 an ounce. Copper slipped 0.3 percent to $2.78 a pound.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 112.39 yen from 112.28 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to $US1.1584 from $US1.1563.

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