US stocks edge lower

US stocks edge lower

New York, July 18 (IANS) US stocks closed lower as investors digested a batch of earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 115.78 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 27,219.85 on Wednesday. The S&P 500 fell 19.62 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 2,984.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 37.59 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 8,185.21, Xinhua reported.

Bank of America reported better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday, driven by the strength of its retail banking operation. But the company warned that lower rates would hit its net interest income growth.

It reported earnings per diluted share of USD 0.74, and revenue which was net of interest expense of USD 23.1 billion.

Despite the bank’s solid profits, investors were cautious on the upcoming earnings reports. Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to have fallen by 3 percent in the second quarter, according to CNBC, citing FactSet data.

Mark Haefele, Global Chief Investment Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a note that profit drivers have weakened as business sentiment has fallen, tariffs have risen, overseas growth has slowed, and outlook for oil prices and interest rates are lower.

Haefele said the bank has trimmed its full-year S&P 500 earnings per share estimate from USD 168 to USD 165, and 2020 estimate from USD 179 to USD 176.

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