BUZZ-U.S. stocks weekly: Groundhog day

Fri Feb 5, 2016 4:28pm EST
 
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** Calendar flips to February, but the same themes of slowing global growth, fluctuating oil prices and bets on the Fed's next move repeat

** Week's trading activity largely dictated by corporate scorecards as investors reward in-line/beat reports, while severely punishing stocks of co's lowering forecasts

** The S&P 500 index craters 3 pct for the week with 7 of 10 sectors in the red

** Consumer discretionary worst sector. Warnings from Ralph Lauren and Kohls weigh on retailers

** Tech a close second as Alphabet briefly dethrones Apple as market-cap king . However, the FANGs come back to bite and crashes by LinkedIn and Tableau Software send chills through sector

** Energy slides as drillers scale back further. Heavyweight Exxon Mobil Corp joins the belt-tightening parade

** Financials now worst sector YTD (down 12.3 pct) with banks still unable to catch a bid

** On positive side, materials enjoy a relief rally. Metals and miners emerge from shadows on unwind of popular "long U.S. dollar/short commodities" trade

** And havens utilities and telecom lift again. YTD, both sectors up more than 7 pct

** Meanwhile, in healthcare, two biotechs breathe life into a dormant IPO market, braving a falling Nasdaq Biotechnology index which is down a quarter YTD

** Sector performance for the S&P 500 : reut.rs/1k6B7QQ (RM: lance.tupper.tr.com@reuters.net; Messaging: terence.gabriel.tr.com@reuters.net)