11:01 AM, Dec 21, 2016 — Stock indexes were modestly lower in early trading Wednesday, following European equities down, just missing the elusive 20,000 level.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined after being within 15 points of 20,000. In economic data, existing home sales unexpectedly rose 0.7% to a rate of 5.61 million, the National Association of Realtors said in a report, beating forecasts for a decline of 1.2%.
Overseas markets were mixed with Europe under pressure despite Italy approving a EUR20 billion ($20.73 billion) bailout of its ailing banks, and Sweden’s Riksbank extending its asset-purchase program by SEK30 billion ($3.2 billion) for six months.
IN equities, Merus NV (MRUS) shares jumped after the company announced a stratetgic collaboration with Incyte (INCY). Finish Line (FINL) declined after it reported earnings that missed forecasts and issued downbeat guidance.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 both were down 0.1% in early trading and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3%.
Globally, the FTSE fell 0.2%, the Nikkei was off by 0.1% and the Shanghai Composite added 1.1%.