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Wall Street stocks end 3rd quarter of 2018 with gains across the board

Dow Jones ended the quarter up by 9%, with the S&P and the Nasdaq ringing up gains of over 7% each
Wall Street
The Dow posted the best gains among US markets for the third quarter of 2018.

US stocks were nearly flat at the close of the session on Friday, but ended the third quarter of 2018 with gains across the board.

The rise during the quarter by tech giants Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) to $1 trillion in value each backstopped the advance.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.07% to close the third quarter at 26,458.24. The index had gained 2,186.83 points or 9% for the quarter.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.02 points to settle at 2,913.98. For the third quarter, it was up 7.2%. 

The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.05% to close on Friday at 8,046.35. In the third quarter, the index had gone up 7.13%.

The Russell 2000 small-cap index was up 0.31% to conclude at 1,695.77. For the quarter, it was 3.2% higher. 

In Canada, the TSX dropped 0.82% to trade around 16,072 as worries over the NAFTA talks hung over the market. 

12:18 PM: US stocks on the rise this afternoon as Intel leads tech stocks higher

US benchmarks were on the rise this afternoon, led higher by the tech sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 50 points with Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) taking the spot of top gainer.

The tech giant’s shares soared 3.4% to $47.44 after CEO Bob Swan confirmed the company would meet its full-year revenue guidance.

The S&P 500 was up around 3 points by midday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose around 70 points. Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA) was a top-performing stock on the index, rising 4.3% to US$278.76.

Evercore ISI reiterated an Outperform rating on the chipmaker’s shares, boosting its price target to $400 from $300.

The Russell 2000 small-cap index was up slightly, lifted by ChemoCentryx Inc (NASDAQ:CCXI). The biotech decided not to proceed with a public offering, determining it was not in the best interest of its shareholders.

Up north, the TSX fell nearly 90 points as NAFTA negotiation worries loom.

10:00 AM: US stocks struggle as markets are held back by trade battles and concerns over Italy's budget

US stocks dropped Friday as market sentiment was hamstrung by the US’s trade battles and concerns over Italy’s new budget.

Weighing on the markets was the US and Canada’s failure thus to reach a deal on trade, which would supplant the current North American Free Trade Agreement and include Mexico as well.

US stocks also followed European stocks lower after Italy’s current government targeted a budget deficit of 2.4% of gross domestic product for next year, which was three times the amount the country’s previous government had forecast.

Early in the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index slipped 46 points to 26,403, held back by Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, DowDuPont and Caterpillar, a trade bellwether.

Losses were more muted at the S&P 500, meanwhile, which clung closer to the baseline to shed 5 points and hover at 2,908.

Elsewhere, Tesla shares fell by more than 12% after its CEO Elon Musk was sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for fraud over his now-abandoned plan to take the company private.

Tesla and the SEC were reportedly close to reaching a no-guilt settlement yesterday, according to a CNBC report. But, sources told CNBC that Musk pulled out of the deal at the final hour as it would have prevented Musk from serving as Tesla's chairman for a period of two years.

The electric car maker's entanglement with the SEC cast a pall over the tech-laden Nasdaq, which shed 20 points to 8,022, on the back of Tesla’s losses as well as slippage in shares of Vodafone Group, ASML Holding NV PACCAR Inc, eBay Inc and Baidu Inc.

Up in Canada, Toronto’s TSX fell by 41 points to 16,163, despite fresh data showing that the country’s economy grew by 0.2% in July, which was more than expected.

The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks fared better than some of the other indices and stayed flat at 1,690.

7:22 AM: US and European shares under pressure Friday; Tesla's Musk accused of securities fraud

Wall Street shares are seen being under the cosh at the New York open, while European indices are also lagging Friday.

Yesterday, US stocks closed higher with a rally in iPhone maker and tech behemoth Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) partly inspiring the market. Its shares closed 2.06% to $224.95. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up over 54 points at 26,439, while the tech heavy Nasdaq exchange finished Thursday over 51 points ahead at 8,041.

The broader based S&P 500 index finished up around eight points at 2,914.

In US futures today, the Dow Jones is down 67 points, while the Nasdaq futures are around 17 points lower and the S&P 500 are off 6.25.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a stock in focus in pre-market and shares in the electric car maker are down around 12% to $27.29, having dropped 0.67% yesterday.

 

It comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against the inimitable chief executive Elon Musk accusing him of making "false and misleading" statements to investors.

 

The regulator is asking a federal judge to prevent Musk from serving as an officer or a director of a public company, among other penalties.

In Europe, FTSE 100 is down 37 points at 7,508, while the German DAX is down over 167 points and the French CAC 40 is off 42 points.

The Italian economy is in focus with bond yields surging today, suggesting traders are concerned about the country's ability to service its debts.

Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex said: "The Italian budget continued to cast a shadow over the markets on Friday, setting up a rocky end to a rocky month.

"With the FTSE MIB truly losing its head, seeing its losses widen from 2% to 3.5% as the Italian banking sector collapsed, its Eurozone peers couldn’t avoid infection."

In Asia overnight, stocks went higher, with Japan's Nikkei 225 surging over 323 points, and the Shanghai Composite Index adding over 29 points.


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