Stocks put in a weak showing this morning, and were unable to firm up in the afternoon. At the close of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 54 points; the S&P 500 Index was off eight points; and the NASDAQ was lower by 26 points. In addition, market breadth showed a somewhat negative bias to today’s session, with losers outpacing winners by a narrow margin on the NYSE. Most of the major equity sectors retreated, with pronounced losses in the consumer, energy, and healthcare names. In contrast, the utilities and the basic materials issues managed to forge ahead.
Shares of Visa (V) fell slightly after the electronic payments processor reported September-quarter results.
New Jersey-based drugmaker and Dow-30 component Merck (MRK), reported third-quarter earnings of $0.78 a share, versus $0.64 in the comparable period of 2015.