US stocks closed little changed on Friday after swinging around during the day, as the White House signalled that big tax-reform news is coming next week.
But crude oil took a decisive turn lower, falling below $US50 per barrel, amid concerns that US drillers would undermine OPEC’s efforts to cut production.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- Dow: 20,557.36, -21.35, (-0.10%)
- S&P 500: 2,348.50, -7.34, (-0.31%)
- Nasdaq: 5,904.52, -12.26, (-0.21%)
- WTI crude oil: $US49.62, -$US1.09, (-2.2%)
President Donald Trump said that he expects to release his plan for a tax overhaul on “Wednesday or shortly thereafter.” In an interview with the Associated Press, he said he would cut the federal corporate tax rate to 15% from its current 35% level.
- The US oil-rig count rose by five to 688, according to oilfield-services provider Baker Hughes, marking the 14th week in a row with an increase. Oil prices slid after the rig-count data release.
- The Treasury Department says it won’t issue Exxon Mobil a waiver to work in Russia. Exxon had applied for a waiver from sanctions on Russia in an effort to restart its joint venture with state oil company PAO Rosneft in the Black Sea. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the former Exxon CEO.
- Shares of General Electric fell 2% even after the company beat expectations for earnings and revenue. GE’s cash flow from industrial operations turned negative, at -$US1.6 billion, worse than -$US600 million which was expected.
- Schlumberger said rising costs to reactivate idle rigs hurt its margins in the first quarter. Revenue rose 5.7% to $US6.89 billion, but its cost of revenue increased 11.3% to $US6.08 billion.
- Existing-home sales jumped 4.4% to a 5.71 million rate in March, the highest in over 10 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. Inventories increased enough to lift sales from a dip in February, but finding available properties remained a “strenuous task for many buyers,” the NAR said.