Macau caps its licenses at six. Casino stocks went up as the new licenses at the casino went up.
Wall Street's main index fell on Friday with the biggest drag on the financial sector, as investors were disappointed by the financial results of big U.S. banks, which cast a shadow over the fourth quarter's earnings season kick-off.
In the afternoon, the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with financials falling by 1.6%. The S&P 500 banks index fell 2% after hitting an intraday high in the previous session.
On its trading arm, JPMorgan Chase Co fell by 6.3%. The looming threat of Omicron and trading revenues returning to normal levels is set to challenge the banking industry's growth in the coming months, according to the bellwether lender.
Citigroup Inc was down 1.8% after posting a 26% drop in fourth-quarter profit, while asset manager BlackRock Inc fell 2.5% after missing quarterly revenue expectations.
Today's first earnings came in with varying crosscurrents. According to Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt, said that loan demand is still not strong enough to surpass deposit growth, which means banks are not in a position to take advantage of the steeper yield curve.
Financials have outperformed the S&P 500 index recently on bets that the Federal Reserve's expected interest rate hikes would boost their profits.
Along with data showing December's retail sales decline, Buchanan said that the banks' performance prompts questions about the economic outlook for the current quarter and 2022.
The question is does the economy have enough strength to get through the risk Omicron brings as fiscal and monetary stimulus is rolling off, he said.
Retail sales fell by 1.9% last month due to shortages of goods and an explosion of COVID 19 infections. In January, consumer sentiment in the U.S. hit its second lowest level in a decade, according to separate data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 370.49 points, or 1.03%, to 35,743 on ET 1927 GMT. The S&P 500 lost 23.98 points, or 0.51%, to 4,635. 05 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 31.26 points, or 0.21%, to 14,775. After financials consumer discretionary and healthcare were big drags on the S&P.
According to IBES data from Refinitiv, analysts believe that S&P 500 companies' earnings rose 23.1% in the fourth quarter.
Wells Fargo Co, which posted a bigger than expected rise in fourth-quarter profit, gained 3.3% on Friday after posting a bigger-than-expected rise in the bank sector.
Las Vegas Sands rose 11%, while Melco Resorts advanced 14% and Wynn Resorts was up almost 8% after Macau capped the number of new casino operators allowed to operate to six with an operating period of up to 10 years.
The stock markets in the U.S. are shut on Monday for the public holiday in honor of Martin Luther King.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 2.92 to 1 ratio, while on Nasdaq, a 2.37 to 1 ratio favoured decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 25 new 52 week highs and three new lows, the Nasdaq Composite posted 47 new highs and 562 new lows.