The S&P 500 stock index moved slightly lower on Friday as strong earnings from Procter & Gamble were offset by ongoing concerns over rising interest rates and concerns relating to trade policy denting economic growth.
Shares of Procter & Gamble rose 8.8 percent after the consumer goods company reported a surprise rise in first-quarter sales. The climb in Procter & Gamble shares lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average and helped advance the S&P 500 consumer staples index 2.3 percent.
The consumer staples sector, which has underperformed the broader S&P 500 this year, was set for its largest daily percentage gain since August 2015.
Yet recent jitters regarding global trade tensions and rising interest rates, which have weighed stocks this week, have persisted.
The S&P 500 index closed below its 200-day moving average, a key statistical indicator of long-term price trends. Defensive sectors, such as utilities and real estate, in addition to consumer staples, led the S&P 500 index in percentage gains, signaling caution among investors.
Trade policy worries weighed on shares of Honeywell, which erased early gains to end 1.1 percent lower after the industrial conglomerate said it was seeing slower growth in China and that tariffs would potentially cost it “hundreds of millions” of dollars in 2019.
Home sales fell in September by the most in over two years as the housing market continued to struggle despite strength across the broader economy. Home sales have now fallen for six straight months, and rising mortgage rates are expected to slow demand.
So far, 61.9 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported revenue above analyst expectations, below the 73 percent average over the past four quarters, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.
For the week, the S&P gained 0.02 percent, the Dow rose 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq fell 0.6 percent.
Shares of PayPal were up 9.4 percent, that stock’s highest one-day percentage gain in two years, after the payments company exceeded quarterly earnings estimates.
Approximately 7.59 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, as compared to the 7.8 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.