US stocks lower into close
TSX up five
DaVita Healthcare Partners surges
Dow Jones down 32
A fickle mood took over Wall Street late on Wednesday and stocks were mainly lower to flat into the close.
The Dow Jones is down 32 at the time of writing at 24,149, while the S&P 500 is flat at 2,629.
The tech heavy Nasdaq added over 14 points to stand at 6,776.
In the oil market, US crude lost 2.93% to US$55.92 a barrel.
In Toronto, the TSX is up over five points at 15,921.
US stocks were higher at mid-session and it looks like bullish sentiment was back in vogue.
The Dow Jones is up over 19 at the time of writing at 24,199, while the S&P 500 is up over 2.2 points and the Nasdaq is ahead over 21 points at 6,784.
In Toronto, the TSX is up over 34 points at 15,950.
US crude - West Texas Intermediate - is down 2.17% to US$56.37 a barrel.
In stocks, a notable gainer was Brown Forman Inc (NYSE:BF.B), which surged 5.55% to US$65.24
The alcoholic drinks company saw its second quarter profit and sales beat markets expectations and it raised its full-year earnings guidance.
Trump bullish on growth rate potential..
Remember when many laughed at Jeb Bush's calls for 4% growth?— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) 6 December 2017
Now Trump is up to 5% and 6% https://t.co/CC9urZaq41
US stocks were keeping above water in early deals.
The Dow Jones is up 12 at 24,193, while the S&P 500 added 2.52 at 2,632.
The tech heavy Nasdaq is up over 16 points to stand at 16,778.
In Toronto, the TSX is down around 28 points at 15,887.
It comes as the latest figures show that the increase in productivity of American firms and workers was unchanged at 3% in the third quarter.
Economists had expected productivity to be reset at 3.3%.
This increase was the strongest in three years, but part of the gain likely stemmed from how a trio of major hurricanes in the fall distorted the government’s calculations, said commentators.
In equities, a big gainer was DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc (NYSE:DVA), which surged over 10% to US$67.16 after UnitedHealth Group Inc said it would pay just under US$5bn for DaVita's medical unit and combine it with its Optum division as it expands into ambulatory care delivery systems.
US futures point to a weaker start on Wall Street after a disappointing close.
The Dow Jones futures are down 41, while the S&P 500 is off 3.5 points and the Nasdaq is down 27.5.
All three benchmarks closed lower last night, the Dow shedding 109 to 24,180, the S&P 500 losing almost ten points and Nasdaq, having been on a high earlier, shedding 85 to close at 6,762.
Craig Erlam, market analyst at Oanda, said: "It’s been a rocky few days for US equities and that may be starting to take its toll, with US futures pointing to a weaker open on Wednesday, as Europe and Asia post similar losses.
"It would appear some of the sparkle has disappeared from the markets at the start of December after what has been another impressive performance since the middle of November.
"The prospect of tax reform in the US, which has made progress, has aided the rally in recent weeks but clearly a number of significant hurdles remain and this is likely to continue to impact investor sentiment this month. A failure to deliver tax reform may well ensure the Santa rally eludes us this year."
Erlam added that on Brexit, never far from the headlines, the DUP's decision to scupper a deal on phase one of the talks late in the day has raised serious questions regarding whether one can now be achieved by the EU summit next week.