US stocks flat as poll shows narrow Clinton lead
November 03 2016 05:40 PM
Hillary Clinton looking on during the first presidential debate in Hempstead, an Donald Trump (L) lo
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (R) looking on during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016, and Republican nominee Donald Trump (L) looking on during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. AFP

AFP/New York

Wall Street stocks were little changed early Thursday after a new poll showing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with a narrow lead in the US presidential contest over Republican Donald Trump.
Clinton holds a three-point lead over Trump, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll of likely voters. The S&P 500 had fallen seven straight days as Trump gained in the polls.
The market is anxious over a potential Trump win because of his pledges to shake up economic and fiscal policies, including broad criticism of free trade, the Federal Reserve and other targets.
About 40 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,980.62, up 0.1 percent.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 2,099.63, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.1 percent to 5,099.98.
Facebook sank 5.0 percent despite reporting a 166 percent jump in third-quarter profits to $2.4 billon. Analysts said investors were unnerved by a warning of weaker revenue growth in 2017 and a plan to beef up investment in engineers and data-centers.
Media-entertainment group 21st Century Fox surged 6.0 percent as it reported a 22 percent rise in net profit to $821 million for the quarter ending September 30, bolstered by its Fox News Channel amid a busy US election campaign.
Some other media stocks were also strong, with CBS rising 1.3 percent and Dow member Disney 2.1 percent.
Whole Foods Market vaulted 3.2 percent as it announced it would end its practice of having co-chief executives, with Walter Robb stepping down to leave co-founder John Mackey as the sole leader. It reported that fourth-quarter net income rose 57 percent to $88 million.
Insurer MetLife rose 4.1 percent after reporting third-quarter operating profits of $1.28 per share, better than the $1.14 expected by analysts.
Wearables company Fitbit plummeted 29.4 percent as it projected fourth-quarter sales of between $725 million and $750 million, well below the $985.1 million expected by analysts for the key holiday shopping quarter.
Other companies with major moves after earnings included AIG, down 4.8 percent, Marathon Oil, up 11.8 percent and US Steel, up 8.3 percent.

Last updated: November 03 2016 07:38 PM

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