United States markets ended the day mostly higher on Thursday as investors worked through another batch of mixed earnings reports, including results from Facebook, Ford and Whole Foods Market.
Investors were waiting to hear from the Bank of Japan on Friday. The bank is expected to announce more stimulus for its economy, the world’s third-largest after the United States and China.
KEEPING SCORE The Dow Jones industrial average closed 0.1 percent lower while the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index gained 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.3 percent.
MARKETS LIKE FACEBOOK Facebook shares rose 1.4 percent. The social networking company reported earnings that more than doubled from a year earlier, topping analysts’ views, as well as a 15 percent rise in monthly users.
Investors will get results from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Amazon after the market close on Thursday.
SALES DOWN AT WHOLE FOODS Whole Foods Market fell 9 percent after it reported that sales declined in the quarter, as the company faces more competition from other supermarkets that have been increasing their organic produce options.
FORD TUMBLES Ford Motor shares lost 8.2 percent after the company reported a 9 percent drop in profit as sales slowed in the United States and struggled in China. The company warned that its full-year guidance might need to be cut.
EUROPEAN MARKETS In Germany, the DAX ended down 0.2 percent, and in France, the CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent. The FTSE 100 closed down 0.2 percent in Britain.
FED VIEW Although policy makers at the central bank voted to keep interest rates unchanged, they noted that “near-term risks” to the world’s biggest economy had diminished. The Fed said the job market had rebounded, with signs that hiring was robust. It did not give a timetable for when it might resume raising rates, but analysts said its latest statement revived that possibility.
JAPAN IN FOCUS Investors were hoping for fresh stimulus efforts from the Bank of Japan, which is expected to vote Friday on expanding monetary policy measures aimed at reviving sputtering growth. The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced 28 trillion yen ($266 billion) in extra government spending to encourage growth, but details are uncertain.
ANALYST’S QUOTE “All focus will be on the Bank of Japan on Friday, and trading will be cautious heading into the event,” said Alex Furber of CMC Markets in Singapore.
ASIA’S DAY The Nikkei 225 declined 1.1 percent in Japan, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng lost 0.2 percent. The Shanghai composite index edged up 0.1 percent in China. The Kospi was down 0.2 percent in South Korea. In Australia, the S.&P./ASX 200 gained 0.3 percent.
ENERGY Benchmark United States crude oil dropped 82 cents, to $41.10 a barrel, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 86 cents, to $42.61 a barrel, in London.
CURRENCIES AND BONDS The euro was up against the dollar at $1.109, while the dollar fell 0.5 percent to 104.77 yen. Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.53 percent.