The stock markets in the United States fluctuated and ended the trading session down today. The Dow Jones declined 0.31% primarily due to the slumped of Chevron and Exxon equities.  The S&P 500 dropped 0.22%, and the NASDAQ slid 0.01%.

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Yesterday, the equity markets were slightly changed. The Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. GDP grew 2.3% in the second quarter, lower than the 2.5% expected by economists polled by Bloomberg.

Today, the Department of Labor reported that the wages and salaries in the United States advanced 0.2 in the second quarter, the slowest pace since 1982. The agency also reported that the employment cost index climbed 0.2%.

The Federal Reserve is depending on the increase in wages to boost the economy and bring the inflation to its 2% target. Given the slow pace of wage increase, market observers suggest that some policy makers would suggest delaying an interest rate hike.

[drizzle]Commenting on the market trends, Robert Sinche, a strategist at Amherst Pierpont Securities told Bloomberg, “This came as a pretty big stunner for the markets. The dovish wing of the Fed is going to latch to this wage data pretty aggressively.”

Mizuho Securities Chief Economist Steven Ricchiuto said, “For the people who were saying the Fed’s got to raise rates in September, this is a shock.”

On the other hand, Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co. said, “It makes it that much tougher for the Fed to raise rates when you have no wage growth.”

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – 17,690.46 (-0.31%)
  • S&P 500- 2,103.93 (-0.22%)
  • NASDAQ- 5,128.28 (-0.01%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,263.78 (+0.38%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,600.69 (+16.90%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,696.28 (+0.41%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 11,308.99 (+0.46%)

Asia-Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 20,585.24 (+0.30%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 24,636.28 (+0.56%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 3,816.70 (+0.03%)

Stocks in Focus

The stock price of Chevron declined almost 5% to $88.45 per share. The company reported earnings of $571 million or $0.30 per diluted share, down from $5.7 billion or $2.98 per share in the same period last year. Its sales and operating revenues declined from $56 billion to $37 billion.

Exxon Mobil Corporation dropped more than 4% to $79.29 per share. The company reported that its earnings dropped 52% to $4.2 billion or $1.00 per share.

The stock value of Moneygram International surged more than 29% to $10.20 per share. The company reported quarterly earnings of $0.23 per share, better than the $0.15 per share expected by analysts.

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