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US stocks lower with oil and hawkish Fed comments

Friday, September 23, 2016 8:23
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(Before It's News)

US stocks opened lower on Friday, saddled with lower oil prices and commentary from a Federal Reserve hawk.

Eric Rosengren, the head of the Boston Fed who was one of a trio of dissenters at the Fed’s rate meeting on Wednesday, said in a note that given the “progress” the US economy has made and the potential side effects of low rates, the case for a rate rise has “become even more compelling”. He also said that the jobless rate may fall below 4.5% by 2019.

The S&P 500 index was down 0.3% at 2170 and dragged lower by software firm Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM) down 3.4% to $72.03 after it was linked with a possible bid for Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), and after tech stocks were hit by negative news from Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

Investors are unimpressed after Yahoo announced a massive data breach Thursday that affects at least 500 million accounts.

And Facebook stock is slumping after the Wall Street Journal reported that the social media company “vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years.”

The world’s largest social network said in a statement that there was an error with a video metric calculation, but it has since been fixed.

But there was also some good news in the tech sector, as Twitter shares jumped by 19.9% to $22.34 on a CNBC report that the micro-blogging site was moving closer to a sale with suitors including Salesforce and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Shares of search engine Google were down 0.2% at $814.43.

The S&P Midcap 400 was down 0.4% to 1557 and led by Oshkosh Truck Corp (NYSE:OSK) down 6.4% to $53.26 – that despite raising Fiscal 2016 Adjusted EPS estimate to a range of $2.85 to $3.00 and saying it expected  year-on-year growth in revenue, operating income and EPS in Fiscal 2017.

The S&P Smallcap 600 was down 0.6% at 760 and led by Bonanza Creek Energy Inc (NYSE:BCEI) down 5.9% to $0.96.

Oil stocks licked wounds after oil prices came off again on jitters about next week’s OPEC oil supply meeting in Algiers. The WTI future was down 0.4% at $46.12.


Pre-Open

Wall Street shares were set to open lower on Friday as tech stocks bore a hole and oil prices eased on jitters about what may happen at an OPEC meeting in Algeria next week.

Oil producers are talking again about whether to freeze production but markets remain anxious.

The S&P 500 index future read down 0.6% to 2164.

The US oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate was softer by  0.2% at $46.24.

A number of Federal Reserve members are expected to speak today at public events, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is holding an open Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) forum.

Patrick Harker, Dennis Lockhart, and Loretta Mester are all speaking at a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. On Wednesday, the Fed opted to keep interest rates steady, but there was dissent in the ranks, with three Fed members out of 12 voting for a hike.

Pre-market, shares in Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) were down 1.5% at $43.50 and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) down 2.1% at $127.35, upsetting the tech party following the record high close of the Nasdaq Composite on Thursday.

Investors are unimpressed after Yahoo announced a massive data breach Thursday that affects at least 500 million accounts.

And Facebook stock is slumping after the Wall Street Journal reported that the social media company “vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years.”

The world’s largest social network said in a statement that there was an error with a video metric calculation, but it has since been fixed.

Santander Consumer USA shareholders were given a rude awakening on Friday after the subprime car loans company said it would need to restate three years’ worth of financial statements due to “errors.”

The company, a unit of Spain’s largest bank, said in a statement that financial statements and disclosures issued for the full years in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and the quarters within 2014 and 2015, as well as the first quarter of 2016, “should no longer be relied upon”.

Hoping for less of a red face will be Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL). The company reported forecast-topping sales in the second quarter before the opening bell. Pre-market the shares were up 2% at $24.49.

In data, the flash estimate of Market PMI for September is due at 0945 EST. Last month it recorded 52.0. A figure above 50.0 indicates expansion.

Story by ProactiveInvestors

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