Stocks Fluctuated after Consumer Spending Data

U.S. stocks gave up modest gains, briefly truned negative in the early trading on Friday, after data showed that US consumer spending recorded weakest gain in 8 months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 12.89 points, or 0.07%, to 17,742.91. The S&P 500 was down 2.34 points, or 0.11%, to 2,087.07. The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.98 points, or 0.04%, to 5,076.25.

Consumer spending in September posted the smallest gain in eight months, a sign that shoppers grew cautious at the end of the third quarter. The Commerce Department said Friday spending rose 0.1 percent, the weakest showing since spending fell in January. Income growth inched up 0.1 percent, which was the smallest amount in four months.
Exxon Mobil Corp said on Friday its third-quarter profit fell 47 percent hit by low crude prices, but results were better than expected, helped by higher profits in the oil company’s refining business. The company posted profit of $4.24 billion, or $1.01 per share, compared with $8.07 billion, or $1.89 per share in the same quarter a year earlier.

Chevron Corp. on Friday said it could cut 6,000 to 7,000 jobs and pare its capital spending by 25% next year, as profit tumbled in its third quarter.For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Chevron reported earnings of $2.04 billion, or $1.09 a share, down from $5.6 billion, or $2.95 a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 37% to $34.32 billion.

CVS Health Corp. (CVS) beat third-quarter sales expectations, but provided a downbeat profit outlook for next year. The company reported third-quarter earnings of $1.24 billion, or $1.10 a share, up from $948 million, or 81 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

LinkedIn Corp. reported a wider third-quarter loss reflecting higher expenses. The company posted a loss of $40.5 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with a loss of $4.3 million, or 3 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 37% to $779.6 million, from $568.3 million in the year-ago period.

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