After an optimistic start to the session, caution prevailed on Wall Street on Wednesday, ahead of Saturday’s meeting between Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Technology stocks advanced, beating better-than-expected Micron Technology results, while oil companies benefited from a surge in oil prices after a surprise drop in US crude inventories. Interest rate markets paused, as did the dollar, while gold took profits.
At closing, the Dow Jones index ended near -0.04% lower at 26,536 points, while the broad S & P 500 index yielded 0.12% to 2,913 pts, now signing 4 consecutive sessions of decline. For its part, the Nasdaq Composite, rich in technology and biotechnology stocks, gained 0.32% to 7,909 pts. The sector indices for energy and information technology posted the strongest rises of the day. Earlier in Europe, the EuroStoxx 50 finished stable Wednesday and in Paris, the CAC 40 fell by 0.25% to 5,500 pts.
Technology sector is supported by Micron Technology, which posted lower results, but nevertheless better than expected for its third fiscal quarter, completed May 30. The US chip maker has announced a quarterly net profit of $840 million, down 78% from the same period of 2018 ($3.82 billion). However, adjusted for exceptional items, EPS was $1.05, well above the 79 cents expected by analysts.
Sales fell by 38% to $4.79 billion, against $7.8 billion a year earlier, but the consensus was based on revenues of $4.67 billion. Micron is very exposed to the Chinese group Huawei, blacklisted by the United States, which accounted for 13% of its billings in the first half. Despite Huawei, management has mentioned “the first signs” of a recovery in the semiconductor market even though the group’s investment objectives have been revised downward.