NEW YORK: The Nasdaq edged to its third straight record close on Thursday (Jul 20) while the Dow dipped following mixed earnings, and home improvement retailers tumbled on news of Amazon's latest venture.
Trading was muted after all three leading US indices finished at records on Wednesday, as investors shrugged off decisions by the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank to keep interest rates low.
Earnings for the second quarter continued to best overall expectations, although some laggards were punished. Dow members American Express and Travelers fell 0.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent following disappointing reports.
But the biggest loser in the blue-chip index was Home Depot, which slumped 4.1 per cent after Sears announced a deal with Amazon to sell Kenmore appliances on the e-commerce platform. Sears rose 10.6 per cent and Amazon 0.2 per cent.
The transaction hearkens tougher competition for companies like Home Depot that sell appliances. Lowe's and Best Buy also fell sharply.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 28.97 points (0.13 per cent) at 21,611.78.
The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.38 points (0.02 per cent) to 2,473.45, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 4.96 points (0.08 per cent) at 6,390.00.
Nike jumped 2.3 per cent following an upgrade from Morgan Stanley, which predicted stronger sales in North America and said innovations to the athletic gear company's supply chain should boost profit margins.
Chipotle Mexican Grill slid 4.5 per cent as the count of consumers sickened by an apparent norovirus outbreak at a northern Virginia store grew to above 130, according to reports. The restaurant chain was also was on the defensive after video captured mice scampering across the floor of a Dallas restaurant.