Stocks fell on Wednesday for the first time in four days, with some traders blaming the selling on reports of multiple shootings near the Canadian Capital. The decline in stocks also came amid weakness in oil and followed Tuesday’s gains, which were the best of the year for the market.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,462.3, -153, (-0.9%)
- S&P 500: 1,928.5, -12.7, (-0.7%)
- Nasdaq: 4,385.8, -34, (-0.8%)
And now, the top stories on Wednesday:
1. The biggest story on Wednesday came out of Canada, as police in Ottawa were looking for at least one gunman after several shootings in the Canadian capital. Reports said that one soldier who was shot at Canada’s National War Memorial died from his injuries, and at the market close the capital building remained on lockdown. In an afternoon email, NYSE floor governor Rich Barry wrote, “In a clear sign that the overall sentiment in the market remains fragile and cautious, we saw a sharp turn in the market to the downside early this afternoon on reports of ‘multiple rogue gunmen’ opening fire upon citizens in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa… Make no mistake, the Dow and S&P sold off in reaction to reports of the shootings.”
2. Oil was back in focus again, falling more than 2% below $US81 for the first time since last week. Last week oil, along with the broader market, sold off hard before rebounding sharply, but Wednesday’s weakness again brings the commodity back into focus. And while the falling price of oil might be a positive to some US consumers, Business Insider’s Tomas Hirst reports that Russia will be facing recession if prices fall below $US80 a barrel.
3. Inflation remains tepid in the US, as the consumer price index for September showed prices rose just 0.1% on a month-over-month basis, though this was slightly better than the flat increase expected by economists. “Core” inflation, which strips out the more volatile cost of food and energy, also rose 0.1% month-on-month. Following the report, Ian Shepherdson, chief US economist at Pantheon Macro, said that headline inflation will likely decline further in the fourth quarter due to the falling price of gas, and said that with these inflation data, faster wage gains are likely to be Fed’s trigger for raising interest rates.
4. Apple shares surged to a fresh all-time, split-adjusted high of $US103.95. There was no apparent news for the iPhone maker on Wednesday, but the move follows Apple’s stronger than expected earnings report on Monday.
5. Dow member Boeing reported an 18% increase in its quarterly earnings on Wednesday, and the aerospace giant also raised its full-year profit outlook to $US8.10-$US8.30 per share from a prior view of $US7.90-$US8.10.
6. Among the big losers on Wednesday was 3D printer maker 3D Systems, which fell more than 15% after the company on Tuesday said that its third quarter and full-year revenue would come in below expectations. 3D Systems didn’t blame demand for its printers, but a shortfall from manufacturing restraints as hampering its results. The company also slashed its profit expectations for both the third quarter and the full year.
7. Shares of Federal-Mogul Holdings fell more than 8% after the Carl Icahn-controlled company reported an $US18 million loss in the quarter. Another Carl Icahn holding, Herbalife, fell about 4% on Wednesday. On Tuesday, LA Magazine published a video interview with Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson, who spoke about the company’s fight with Bill Ackman, which he characterised as a “war.”
8. In Business Insider news, executive editor Joe Weisenthal, better known as The Stalwart, spent his last day at BI on Wednesday, and wrote a short post on why covering the markets can be so fun. We tend to agree.