FILE PHOTO: The trading floor is seen on the final day of trading for the year at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Due to lower prices of oil and weak shares of General Electric, Wall Street halted its rally. Brent crude oils lost some of its profits (almost $1 per barrel), which led to the energy sector to fall 1.2 percent. [O/R] Industrials and materials, fallen 0.9 percent and 1.2 percent, made very slow progress.

General Electric dropped 2.9 percent post speculation of it breaking up and declaring $11 billion and more in charges from its new U.S. tax laws and long-term care insurance portfolio.

The CBOE Volatility index, a popular measure of anxiety in market, hiked to 11.66 for more than a month. According to Tracie McMillion, Head of Global Asset Allocation Strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, although, lower energy prices may take things a little down, but this in turn will attract more investors to move into equities as they perceive returns.

The S&P 500 fell 9.82 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,776.42, the Nasdaq Composite lost 37.38 points, or 0.51 percent, to 7,223.69 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 10.33 points, or 0.04 percent, to 25,792.86.

After the biggest U.S. health insurer reported results that superseded estimates and surged its 2018 earnings outlook, UnitedHealth escalated 1.9 percent. According to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, profits approximates have been topped by more than three quarters of the 30 S&P 500 companies that have reported.

According to Shawn Cruz, Senior Trading Specialist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago, a lot of indices have moved back and what has moved them back seems to be specific to General Electric. However, markets interpret this in a positive manner. Cruz also added that the drop in Wall Street may have been contributed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s business conditions index.

After a key study’s results that showed Merck’s two chemotherapy medicines and Keytruda halted lung cancer from advancing and helped the patients to live longer, the pharmaceutical company rose 5.8 percent.

According to sources, Viacom dropped 7.0 percent as Reuters CBS Corp and the company were not in active amalgamation discussions. Advancing issues were outnumbered by the declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.04-to-1 ratio. A 2.18-to-1 ratio favoured decliners on Nasdaq.

The Nasdaq Composite posted 29 new lows and 243 new highs, whereas the S&P 500 recorded six new lows and 170 new 52-week highs. The US exchanges volume was 8.30 billion shares as compared to the average of 6.48 billion over the last 20 trading days.

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Adam Paul is the Vice President of Content Development for Trends Desk. He holds more than 10 years of understanding in supervising content for technology professionals, and authored 3 books and hundreds of articles in chemical arena. He was executive editor at one of the leading news portals and authored a popular column identifying trends in chemical industry.

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