After a 3-day run-up, US markets saw indices lose steam on Tuesday, with the Dow ending relatively flat, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq lost ground for the day. Good second quarter profit growth reports were offset by a fall in consumer confidence, which fell in July, indicating consumer spending could decline in the coming months. The closely watched index fell to 50.4 from 54.3 in June.
In corporate news, BP replaced its British CEO Tony Hayward with American Robert Dudley effective 1 October. The company also reported a huge quarterly loss of $17.2 billion as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The stock fell 1.7%.
Good news came from several financial companies. Swiss company UBS reporter a higher Q2 profit of $1.9 billion, versus a year-ago loss as a result of better business in its investment bank. Its rival Credit Suisse also announced a higher Q2 net income of 1.6 billion francs. Both stocks soared with Credit Suisse ending up almost four and a half percent and UBS up almost 9%.
Germany’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank reported a 9% increase in second-quarter earnings due to strong business in transaction banking and asset management, but announced weaker revenues as a result of a fall in its investment banking business. Shares ended higher almost 3%.
Chemical maker DuPont said its quarterly sales tripled to $1.2 billion as a result of better demand and increased prices. Sales from emerging markets grew by 32%. Shares gained 3.6%.
In world markets, European indices ended on a high note. Asian markets ended mixed with Japan’s Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite down slightly and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.6%.
In commodities, U.S. light crude oil for September delivery was down $1.48 to $77.50, while gold for August delivery fell $25.10 to $1,158 per ounce.
In bonds, the yield on the 10-year note went up to 3.05% from 2.99% on Monday after treasury prices fell.