Monthly Archives: August 2016

Stocks slightly higher; materials lead

THURSDAY – U.S. equities traded slightly higher Thursday, a day ahead of a key speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and following the release of solid economic data.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose just 10 points, with Home Depot contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 rose about 0.15 percent, with materials leading. Investors also kept an eye on health care a day after posting its worst day since June 24.

The sector fell Wednesday after presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted about Mylan’s price increases of the allergy drug EpiPen.

The three major indexes have held in a tight range recently amid low trading volume and a lack of volatility. On Wednesday, the S&P recorded its 33rd straight session without a 1 percent move on a closing basis.

Coming Up:

Thursday

Earnings: Autodesk, GameStop, Pure Storage, Splunk
1 p.m. $28 billion 7-year note auction

Friday

Earnings: Big Lots
Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks at Jackson Hole, Wyoming
8:30 a.m. Real GDP Q2 (second); international trade
9:45 a.m. Services PMI
10 a.m. Consumer sentiment

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Stocks trade flat despite a sharp fall in oil prices

MONDAY – U.S. stocks tried for gains on Monday as investors digested falling oil prices, low trading volume and looked ahead to a key speech from the top Federal Reserve official.

Stocks posted new record highs last week, despite the S&P notching its 30th straight session without a 1 percent move on a closing basis, its longest streak since 2014.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to deliver a speech Friday on the U.S. economy and monetary policy at the Economic Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Yellen’s remarks will be delivered following hawkish rhetoric from Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer and New York Fed President William Dudley.

There are no major economic data reports due Monday, but the second read on second-quarter GDP is scheduled for release Friday.

Coming Up:

Tuesday

10 a.m. New home sales
1 p.m. $26 billion 2-year note auction

Wednesday

9 a.m. FHFA home prices
9:45 a.m. Manufacturing PMI
10 a.m. Existing home sales
1 p.m. $34 billion 5-year note auction

Indexes Hit Intra-Day Records

Stocks traded higher Monday, all three major indexes hitting new highs as investors kept an eye on oil prices and on the Federal Reserve.

The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ composite jumped above previous intraday highs of 2,188.45 and 5,238.54, respectively. The Dow Jones industrial average also posted a record high rising past its previous high of 18,638.34. These records were all set last week, despite the indexes posted slight weekly gains.

On the data front, the Empire State Manufacturing survey index fell five points to -4.2. Other data due Monday include the NAHB housing index, scheduled for release at 10 a.m. ET.

This Week:

Monday

10 a.m. NAHB survey

4 p.m. TIC data

Tuesday

8:30 a.m. CPI; housing starts

9:15 a.m. Industrial production

12:30 p.m. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart

Wednesday

2 p.m. FOMC minutes

Thursday

8:30 a.m. Initial claims; Philadelphia Fed survey

10 a.m. New York Fed President William Dudley

4 p.m. San Francisco Fed President John Williams

Stocks close mostly lower

U.S. equities closed mostly lower on Friday as investors digested disappointing economic data, following a record-setting day on Thursday.

Retail sales for July came in unchanged, with economists expecting a 0.4 percent increase. Meanwhile, the July reading of the producer price index showed a decline of 0.4 percent, as economists forecast a 0.1 percent gain.

The weak retail sales data were released a day after strong earnings from retail giants Macy’s and Kohl’s pointed to further strength for the overall U.S. consumer.

Excluding Thursday, U.S. stocks have traded in a very narrow range this week, with volatility hovering around multi-year lows. The CBOE Volatility index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded about 1.4 percent lower, near 11.5. In afternoon trade Friday, Schwab’s Frederick said there were four calls on on the Vix for every put in the options market, which indicates investors think the index “can’t go much lower.”

Earlier on Friday, the S&P and the Nasdaq briefly traded in positive territory.

TheDow Jones industrial averagefell 37.05 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 18,576.47, with DuPont leading decliners and ExxonMobil the top advancer.

TheS&P 500 closed 1.74 points lower, or 0.08 percent, at 2,184.05, with materials leading seven sectors lower and energy the biggest riser.

TheNasdaq rose 4.5 points, or 0.09 percent, to end at 5,232.89.