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Estee Lauder Co. Inc. (EL)

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US close: Wall Street slips amid lack of economic data

22 Aug 16

LONDON (ShareCast) - (ShareCast News) - US stocks drifted lower on Friday as traders waded through corporate earnings amid a dearth of economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.24% to 18,552.57 points, the S&P 500 dropped 0.14% to 2,183.87 points and the Nasdaq declined 0.03% to 5,238.38.

Oil prices were volatile as the dollar strengthened and investors looked ahead to an unofficial OPEC meeting next month, with hopes of a deal on stabilising the market. West Texas Intermediate increased 19 cents to finish at $48.52 per barrel.

In the absence of US data, the market also continued to mull the Federal Reserve's July meeting minutes, which showed policymakers were divided on the timing of the next interest rate hike.

"On a quiet Friday, focus will remain on the oil market and the Fed as traders try to dissect the wide ranging views of policy makers in order to anticipate when the next rate hike will actually happen.

"We had more comments from policy makers on Thursday but once again, there was no consistent messages and John Williams - who earlier in the week sent the dollar into a tailspin after suggesting that the inflation target should be higher, which suggested there was little desire to raise rates - claimed there should be a hike sooner rather than later.

"Meanwhile we also heard from a couple of his colleagues - William Dudley and Robert Kaplan - and again the message wasn't necessarily consistent with Dudley reiterating that the US economy is strong, as displayed by the labour market data, while Kaplan claimed that while there is some room for manoeuvre on interest rates, it's limited. With other messages from policy makers being more inconsistent again, it's no surprise that the markets are changing their mind on the timing of the next hike on almost a daily basis," said Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst at Oanda.

Corporate results were also in focus.

Footlocker shares advanced after reporting second quarter results that beat expectations. In the six months ended 30 July, earnings rose to $127m or 94 cents a share, from $119m or 84 cents a share in the same period last year.

Deere & Company rallied as the maker of agricultural machinery reported a 1.3% increase in earnings per share in the third quarter to $1.55, surpassing estimates of 95 cents.

Estee Lauder declined as it revealed quarterly net income fell to $93.5m from $153m a year earlier, due to restructuring and other charges. The beauty products manufacturer also predicted fiscal 2017 adjusted profit which fell short of analysts' forecasts.

Gap recovered from earlier lows after the retailer's full-year profit forecast missed analysts' expectations.

Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are end of day values only.


Market Data

Currency US Dollars
52 Week High $220.42
52 Week Low $125.23
Shares Issued 221.60m
Market Cap $48,725m


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