The stock markets in the United States declined as investors were disappointed with financial results of some corporations including 3M and Caterpillar. The equity markets were also impacted by the continued weakness in the commodity sector.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.67%, the S&P 500 declined 0.57%, the NASDAQ tanked 0.49%, and the Russell 2000 plunged 1.05% today.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Jeff Sica, president and CIO at Circle Squared Alternative Investments commented, “Investors have been somewhat surprised at how unimpressive earnings have been considering where the stock market is. Earnings have not proven to be the catalyst they’ve looked for. Investors are just very tentative.”

Investors are also monitoring economic data to determine the timing of a potential interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Today, the Department of Labor reported the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits declined by 26,000 to 255,000. It is the lowest level since November 24, 1973.

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Separately, the Conference Board’s index rose 0.6%. The index is the leading economic indicator in the United States measuring the outlook for the next three to six months.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,731.95 (-0.67%)
  • S&P 500- 2,102.15 (-0.57%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,146.41(-0.49 %)
  • Russell 2000- 1,245.19 (-1.05%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,634.64 (-0.03%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,655.01 (-0.18%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,512.11 (-0.07%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 20,683.95 (+0.44%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 25,398.85 (+0.46%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 4,250.81 (+2.25%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of 3M declined 3.73% to $149.61 per share after reporting its financial results for the second quarter. The company posted earnings of $2.02 per share, higher than the $1.99 per share expected by analysts. Its revenue was $7.69 billion, lower than the $7.82 billion consensus estimate.

Caterpillar dropped 3.61% to $76.88 per share due to its disappointing financial performance in the second quarter. The company reported earnings of $1.16 per share down from $1.57 per share in the same period a year earlier. Its revenue declined from $14.2 billion to $12.3 billion.

Inotek Pharmaceuticals surged almost 194% to $15.37 per share, the biggest gainer among the companies listed on NASDAQ today. The company announced the results of its Phase 2 meeting with the FDA and the completion of the Phase 3 development strategy for Trabodenoson, its lead drug for patients suffering from glaucoma. The company said it is in the final preparation stages to start its first Phase 3 trial to support a new drug application (NDA) for Trabodenoson.

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