US stocks stabilised yesterday after earnings from a major beer brewer helped the market stem its recent declines.
The stock market ended the day little changed after a sizeable drop on Tuesday, when Russia massed troops near its border with Ukraine.
Molson Coors was the biggest gainer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index after the company reported better-than-forecast earnings.
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox rose after the company said it was dropping a bid to acquire Time Warner, while Sprint plunged after it abandoned its effort to acquire T-Mobile US.
The stock market has become more volatile in recent weeks, and slumped last month to its first monthly decline since January.
Investors are weighing signs that the US economy is strengthening against the threat of an escalating conflict in Ukraine, as well as the prospect of the Federal Reserve raising its benchmark interest rate.
“On the one hand the US economy is really starting to look good, but on the other hand, the markets are certainly jittery about what’s going on in Ukraine and Russia,” said Anastasia Amoroso, Global Markets Strategist at JP Morgan Funds.
The S&P 500 rose a fraction of a point, or less than 0.1%, to 1,920.24. The index lost 18 points, or 1%, on Tuesday.
The index is still up on the year, but has dropped 3.5% from its record close set on July 24.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13.87 points, or 0.1%, to 16,443.34. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.2 points, or 0.1%, to 4,355.05.
Molson Coors rose 3.87 dollars, or 5.8%, to 71.08 dollars after the company said its second-quarter profit rose 9% as better pricing offset a global decline in the volume of beer sales.
As well as watching earnings, investors were looking at two merger bids that unravelled.
Sprint plunged 1.38 dollars, or 19%, to 5.90 dollars after the company said it was abandoning its pursuit of T-Mobile US.
Sprint would have struggled to convince regulators to approve a merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 cellphone carriers in the nation, according to The Wall Street Journal. Sprint is also replacing its long-time chief executive.
Time Warner fell 10.95 dollars, or 12.9%, to 74.24 dollars after Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox said it was dropping its attempt to take over the company.
The deal would have combined two of the world’s biggest media conglomerates. 21st Century Fox rose 1.03 dollars, or 3.3%, to 32.33 dollars.
Stocks may oscillate in a trading range in coming days as investors follow developments in Ukraine and assess their impact on the global economy, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
The US economy is unlikely to be directly affected by the economic fallout from the escalating tensions between Russia and the West.
Europe, though, is dependent on Russian natural gas for heat and electricity. Germany imports nearly all its natural gas from Russia, and France also gets a significant amount of its energy needs from Russia.
“I don’t think the market is afraid of any military intervention, but it certainly is focusing on the negative aspects of an economic war,” said Mr Cardillo.