July 18, Market Update
Two sectors stood out on Wednesday -- financials and industrials. They were the only sectors to register a gain or loss of more than 1.0%, closing higher by 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively. Consumer staples was the weakest sector, losing 0.7%, but no other group advanced or declined more than 0.5%.
The financial sector was helped by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B 200.44, +10.03), which rallied 5.3% after eliminating a restriction on its ability to buy back its own shares. Morgan Stanley (MS 50.56, +1.38) was also a positive influence, climbing 2.8% on better-than-expected Q2 results. U.S. Bancorp (USB 50.72, -0.58) declined 1.1%, however, despite beating bottom-line estimates.
In other corporate news, the EU hit Alphabet (GOOG 1195.88, -2.92) with a $5 billion antitrust fine for allegedly using its Android mobile operating system to stifle competition. Google already said it will aggressively fight the verdict, but the EU antitrust commission has been successfully targeting US technology companies in recent years because of their dominant market position. Google forces smartphone makers to pre-install all of its Google apps on their Android devices, helping them maintain their market share of the search market, which stands at over 80%.
Graph: Google Finance
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