U.S. Indices Set to Open Mixed to Flat Ahead of Trump Inauguration

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Equities markets both in the U.S. and globally have stalled this week in the run up to today’s inauguration of President Donald Trump. After a tentative European session that eventually resulted in minor losses for most of the major indices, all three of the major U.S. benchmark indices finished the session down yesterday. The Dow Jones shed 0.4% to finish five straight sessions down and reach its lowest level in a month and a half while the S&P also retreated by 0.4% and the Nasdaq, which has proven the most resilient of the three this week, slipped by 0.3%.

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Yesterday saw data on unemployment claims released which showed an unexpected 15,000 decrease to 234,000. Forecasts had been for 6000 rise to 255,000 from 249,000 last week. On Wednesday the share prices of steel makers rose on news that China will reduce its own domestic production this year on environmental concerns. Chinese steel output is expected to drop by between 4% and 7% over 2017 as the most polluting furnaces are decommissioned and illegal operations shut down. Yesterday saw some of those gains pared back as steel companies saw losses. Companies in the commercial property and pharmaceuticals sectors also saw losses yesterday while a major gainer was the railroads sector.

American Express posted results after close yesterday and saw a slide of 1.03% in its share price over the session. Further losses may be in store today after the lender announced an 8.2% drop in Q4 profits. Expenses had exceeded estimates and higher provision set aside to cover bad loans.

Netflix gained 3.86% yesterday as the video-streaming company hits all-tie highs for its share price on news that its global subscribers base has now reached almost 94 million accounts. 2016 saw record numbers of subscribers added to the company’s video-on-demand streaming packages.

European equities are showing gains today but futures are currently suggesting that Wall Street will open mixed with the S&P showing a gain of 0.18% and the Dow Jones a flat reading.

General Electric and Proctor&Gamble will release Q4 results ahead of the open today.

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