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Monday, Jan 30, 2023

Stocks Fall as London Blasts Weigh

Stocks ended lower on Thursday after another series of attacks in London unnerved Wall Street, offsetting a drop in oil prices and news that China will revalue its currency.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 61.38, or 0.6 percent, to 10,627.77. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 8.16, or 0.7 percent, to 1,227.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped fell 9.97, or 0.5 percent, to 2,178.60.

Oil prices fell by almost $1 a barrel following four explosions in London that were reminiscent of the deadly bombings there two weeks ago and which raised concerns about a possible slowdown in travel. Light, sweet crude for September fell 89 cents to settle at $57.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

China’s news that it would float its currency against a basket of other currencies was seen as positive potentially giving U.S. exporters more opportunities in China. China revalued the yuan by 2.1 percent, leaving the door open to further rises by abandoning the currency’s decade-old peg against the dollar.

Among local companies, shares of Global ePoint, Inc. rose 16.6 percent to $4 after the City of Industry-based digital video surveillance systems manufacturer announced its new product: a modified version of its Aviation Division’s highly successful Cockpit Door Surveillance System.

And Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. gained 7.7 percent to $44.11 after the L.A.-based metals distributor said that while its second-quarter earnings fell as carbon steel prices declined, its results and forecast for the current quarter were well ahead of Wall Street estimates. The company expects third-quarter profit of $1.20 to $1.30 a share more than the average analysts’ estimate of $1.04.

On the down side, shares of Molina Healthcare Inc. plunged 43.5 percent to $26 after the Long Beach-based seller of health plans through the Medicaid health insurance program slashed its forecast for 2005, blaming rising medical costs, and said it expects a second-quarter loss in the range of 15 to 20 cents per share.

And Ryland Group Inc. fell 3.5 percent to $80.26 after the Calabasas-based homebuilder’s stock was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” by analyst Craig Kucera at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. The price target was set at $81 per share.


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