US stocks mostly fall as FedEx sinks

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, Dec 17, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished little changed on Wednesday (Dec 18), essentially pausing after a run of records, while FedEx plunged on disappointing results.

Some analysts saw the weak FedEx results as having an outsized impact. The shipping company lost more than 10 percent as it missed analyst estimates and complained of the drag from "weak global economic conditions."

"I am wondering if the news from FedEx has not caused investors to second guess expected growth in the global economy in the coming year, since transportation stocks tend to be leading indicators," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

All three major indices have set multiple new records, including on Tuesday, amid relief and optimism following an initial US-China trade agreement.

But only the Nasdaq managed to continue the rally, gaining 0.1 per cent to 8,827,73 to finish at its fifth straight record.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.1 per cent to 28,239.28, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed less than 0.1 per cent to 3,191.14.

Investors appeared unperturbed by an impending vote in the House of Representatives to impeach President Donald Trump.

The effort that lacks Republican support in the Senate where Trump's fate will be determined in a trial if the Democratic-controlled House approves the decision.

Among other companies, General Mills added 2 per cent as it reported a 69 per cent increase in second-quarter profits to US$580.8 million (S$780 million) and raised a key cash flow target for the full year.

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