4:10 pm : Stocks entered the weekend on a mixed note as the S&P 500 shed 0.1% while the Dow ended with a gain of 0.1%.
The major averages began the day on a lower note as nine of ten sectors saw losses of more than 0.5%.
The consumer staples sector was the lone exception as the group spent the entire day in positive territory thanks to the relative strength of Dow component Procter & Gamble (PG 81.89, +3.19). The second-largest staple stock advanced 4.1% after the company reaffirmed its fourth quarter guidance and named Alan Lafley President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Lafley had previously served as company President and CEO from 2000 to 2009.
With light volume ahead of the holiday weekend, the broader market drifted back towards yesterday's closing levels. However, the S&P was kept from turning positive by the underperformance of influential sectors.
The energy space lost 0.4% as crude oil shed 0.4% to end at $93.92. Meanwhile, the other commodity-related sector, materials, slipped 0.3% as steelmakers lagged. The Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 41.67, -0.42) ended lower by 1.0%.
Industrials also pressured the broader market as transportation-related names sold off. Relative weakness in truckers, delivery services, and shippers caused the Dow Jones Transportation Average to lose 0.5%. However, another industrial subgroup, defense stocks, fared relatively well as the PHLX Defense Index rose 0.1%.
Cyclical groups saw comparable losses in early action. However, the financial sector displayed some afternoon strength as major banks registered gains. As a result, the sector ended with a slim gain of 0.1%.
Today's biggest laggards could be found in the high-yielding utilities sector as the group continued its recent weakness. Including today's 1.0% decline, the sector lost 3.7% this week, and is down 6.7% in May.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 14.11, +0.04) spiked to 14.79% amid the early weakness before the near-term volatility measure surrendered the bulk of its gains.
As mentioned earlier, volume was well below average with only 591 million shares changing hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Today's economic data was limited to durable goods orders. For April, orders rose 3.3% after declining an upwardly revised 5.9% (from -6.9%) in March. The Briefing.com consensus expected durable goods orders to rise 1.6%. The sawtooth pattern in transportation held up despite Boeing (BA 100.00, +0.25) announcing lower aircraft orders in April. Transportation orders rose 8.1% in April as defense and nondefense aircraft orders increased 25.7%.
Excluding transportation, durable goods demand was solid all-around and increased 1.3% in April after declining 1.7% in March.
Note that equity and bond markets will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day. On Tuesday, the March Case-Shiller 20-city Index will be reported at 9:00 ET while May consumer confidence will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.
Week in Review: S&P 500 Registers First Weekly Loss of the Month
On Monday, the major averages registered slim losses after intraday action saw the Russell 2000 cross above the 1,000 level for the first time. The lack of conviction was owed in part to a lack of stirring catalysts. M&A activity was among the notable developments as Yahoo! (YHOO 26.33, +0.31) acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash. Stocks ended Tuesday's session modestly higher as the S&P 500 climbed 0.2% and the Dow added 0.4% to register its 19th consecutive Tuesday of gains. Equity indices saw little change during morning action, but afternoon buying interest helped lift the three averages to session highs. Most cyclical sectors (with the exception of materials and technology) finished among the leaders, but the defensively-geared health care sector settled atop the leaderboard as biotechnology continued its strong run with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 180.74, -0.53) advancing 1.0%.
Wednesday saw the S&P 500 settle lower by 0.8% after early strength turned into afternoon weakness. From highs to lows, the S&P fell 1.9% as investors focused on Ben Bernanke's testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. During his remarks, Chairman Bernanke said premature tightening of monetary policy could stall the pace of recovery. Equities spiked at the start of the testimony, but sellers made their presence known this afternoon as the major averages slumped to session lows. The utilities and telecom sectors led to the downside as traders continued to dump income-oriented names. Elsewhere, the energy space lost 1.2% as crude oil declined 2.1%. The energy component ended at $94.18 per barrel, and weighed on the growth-sensitive sector.
On Thursday, the major averages ended modestly lower with the S&P 500 shedding 0.3%. The benchmark average saw an opening loss of 1.2% after Japan's Nikkei tumbled 7.3%. Japanese stocks sold off amid continued volatility in Japanese Government Bond futures as the 10-yr yield spiked to 1.002 before the Bank of Japan's JPY2 trillion liquidity injection caused yields to slide back to session lows. Adding insult to injury was news out of China where the HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI (49.6 actual, 50.5 consensus, 50.4 prior) fell below 50 for the first time in seven months. The utilities sector was the weakest performer, ending lower by 0.8% after a morning flash crash in American Electric Power (AEP 47.71, -0.57) and NextEra Energy (NEE 77.30, -0.92) briefly wiped out more than $33 billion in combined market capitalization.DJ30 +8.60 NASDAQ -0.27 SP500 -0.91 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1279/1.41 bln/1174 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1330/590.7 mln/1639
3:30 pm :
3:00 pm : The major averages continue to trade near their recent levels as today's session enters its final hour.
In the foreign exchange market, the Dollar Index remains in negative territory as a sleepy session drifts towards the finish line. Today's action has been limited to a 30 cent range, with current trade taking place near the middle of the range at 83.60. The Swiss franc and the Japanese yen have been the biggest beneficiaries of today's dollar weakness.
The USDCHF pair is lower by 90 pips at .9595 as sellers remain in control for a second session. The recent weakness has many eying .9500/.9550 support as its ability to hold may dictate whether or not a test of parity is forthcoming.
Elsewhere, USDJPY is off by 110 pips at 100.90 as action presses the trendline off the April lows. A breakdown of that level reveals the next support level in the 100.00 area. Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda will speak Sunday in Tokyo, ahead of the release of the latest Bank of Japan Monetary Policy meeting minutes.DJ30 -7.11 NASDAQ -6.40 SP500 -3.01 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1173/1.07 bln/1275 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1194/357.1 mln/1757
2:30 pm : After opening sharply lower, the three indices have spent the entire day in a steady climb toward yesterday's closing levels. While the Dow has been able to cross into positive territory, the S&P 500 remains lower by 0.2% as nine sectors continue to trade in the red.
The financial space has shown some recent strength as the sector returned to its flat line. Further gains in this influential sector would likely give the broader market the boost needed to return into the black.DJ30 +6.42 NASDAQ -3.79 SP500 -1.94 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1199/995.9 mln/1231 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1201/329.2 mln/1743
2:00 pm : Although the Dow Jones has been able to climb back to its flat line, the S&P 500 remains pressured by the influential energy, industrial, and financial sectors as the three groups trade with losses between 0.2% and 0.6%.
In the industrial sector, transportation-related stocks have shown weakness as the Dow Jones Transportation Average trades lower by 0.7%. Truckers have shown weakness across the board while airlines trade in mixed fashion.DJ30 -10.95 NASDAQ -7.56 SP500 -3.84 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1109/926.6 mln/1320 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1096/303.3 mln/1835
1:30 pm : The major averages have continued their climb towards yesterday's closing levels. The Dow trades with a loss of just three points as the relative strength of Procter & Gamble (PG 81.93, +3.23) and Wal-Mart (WMT 77.08, +0.75) partially overshadows the weakness of most other components of the price-weighted index.
Although the key indices have recovered a good portion of their losses, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 14.39, +0.32) remains near its session-best of 14.79%.DJ30 -3.16 NASDAQ -5.73 SP500 -2.83 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1128/866.1 mln/1283 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 1088/283.1 mln/1843
1:00 pm : Equities trade modestly lower with the S&P 500 off by 0.4%.
The benchmark average has spent the first half of the session in a steady climb after notching its lows 30 minutes after the open.
Nine of ten sectors trade with losses of at least 0.3% while consumer staples buck the trend. Dow component Procter & Gamble (PG 81.87, +3.17) has provided a boost to the defensively-oriented sector after the company reaffirmed its fourth quarter guidance and named Alan Lafley President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Lafley had previously served as company President and CEO from 2000 to 2009.
On the flip side, the discretionary sector has lagged from the start as retailers weigh after a handful of names reported their quarterly results. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF 49.12, -5.26) trades down 9.7% after missing on earnings and revenue and Aeropostale (ARO 15.01, -1.47) is off by 8.9% following its cautious second quarter earnings guidance and below-consensus comparable store sales. Meanwhile, the broader SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 77.55, -0.78) trades with a loss of 1.0%.
Elsewhere, the energy sector is the weakest cyclical group as crude oil weighs. The energy component is off by 0.5% at $93.78 per barrel.
Another commodity-related space, materials, has been pressured by steelmakers as the Market Vectors Steel ETF (SLX 41.59, -0.50) sheds 1.2%. However, the sector has been able to climb off its lows as other metals (copper, gold, and silver) display little change.
The utilities sector has been the subject of some selling in recent weeks, and the trend has continued today. The high-yielding group is down 3.9% this week, and lower by 6.9% this month.
Reviewing today's economic data, April durable goods orders rose 3.3% after declining an upwardly revised 5.9% (from -6.9%) in March. The Briefing.com consensus expected durable goods orders to rise 1.6%. The sawtooth pattern in transportation held up despite Boeing (BA 99.55, -0.20) announcing lower aircraft orders in April. Transportation orders rose 8.1% in April as defense and nondefense aircraft orders increased 25.7%. Excluding transportation, durable goods demand was solid all-around and increased 1.3% in April after declining 1.7% in March.DJ30 -34.56 NASDAQ -10.80 SP500 -6.25 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1040/798.1 mln/1357 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 938/259.3 mln/1984
12:35 pm : The S&P 500 is off by 0.3% as the index continues its slow climb off opening lows. The Nasdaq also trades with a loss of 0.3% while the Dow is off by 0.2% as the relative strength of Procter & Gamble (PG 81.77, +3.07) contributes to the outperformance of the blue chip average.
Only one other index component, Wal-Mart (WMT 77.18, +0.85), trades with a gain of more than 1.0%.
Both Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart are members of the consumer staples sector, which is the only group trading higher today.DJ30 -31.95 NASDAQ -9.98 SP500 -5.08 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1029/738.4 mln/1360 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 947/241.3 mln/1956
12:00 pm : Quiet action continues with the S&P 500 once again probing fresh intraday highs. Nine sectors saw corresponding upticks as the benchmark average neared its current levels. The only exception was the utilities sector, which remains near its lows.
The utilities sector has been the subject of some selling in recent weeks. The high-yielding space is down 3.6% this week, and lower by 6.7% so far this month.DJ30 -35.80 NASDAQ -12.23 SP500 -6.11 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 905/640.6 mln/1455 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 824/211.5 mln/2056
11:30 am : The S&P 500 has returned to its intraday highs, but the index continues to trade with a loss of 0.5%.
Today's final volume total is likely to come in below average as some market participants leave early for the extended Memorial Day weekend. Through the first two hours of action, only 192 million shares have changed hands on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Little change has been observed in today's laggards while the lone outperforming group, consumer staples, has extended its gains. The SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF (XLP 41.55, +0.24) trades higher by 0.6%.DJ30 -60.78 NASDAQ -19.27 SP500 -9.06 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 790/571.9 mln/1573 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 709/191.6 mln/2159
11:00 am : Unable to stage a significant rebound, the major averages continue to hover near their worst levels of the day. The S&P 500 trades lower by 0.6% with the energy sector leading to the downside.
The growth-sensitive group sports a loss of 0.9% amid weakness in crude oil. The energy component is off by 0.7% at $93.63 per barrel.
Elsewhere, the Dow Jones Transportation Average is a notable laggard as 19 of 20 components trade lower. As a result, the bellwether complex is down 1.1%.DJ30 -53.64 NASDAQ -18.56 SP500 -9.30 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 728/457.1 mln/1586 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 648/158.4 mln/2195
10:30 am : Commodities are mostly lower this morning, despite weakness in the dollar index, on broad market weakness. Crude oil and natural gas have slid lower since the overnight session and crude came close to the $93 level. July crude oil is now -0.9% at $93.38/barrel.
Natural gas fell about 2% off its overnight high and is still near its $4.22 session low. Currently, June nat gas is -0.8% at $4.23/MMBtu.
Precious metals have been modestly lower this morning with June gold now -0.35 at $1387.00/oz and July silver -0.1% at $22.49/oz.DJ30 -76.75 NASDAQ -22.00 SP500 -11.30 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 607/355.8 mln/1651 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 581/132 mln/2224
10:00 am : The S&P 500 has slipped to fresh lows as the broader market continues to show weakness. Nine of ten sectors trade with losses larger than 0.5% while the consumer staples space registers a slim gain due to the relative strength of Procter & Gamble (PG 81.61, +2.91) following its management shake-up.
With the broader market seeing early losses, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX 14.51, +0.44) is higher by about 3.0%.
In the Treasury market, the 10-yr note has seen some buying interest with its yield (2.00%) hovering at its lowest level of the day.DJ30 -58.29 NASDAQ -20.98 SP500 -9.58 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 553/187.8 mln/1629 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 532/84.5 mln/2174
09:45 am : The major averages spent the first 15 minutes of the session climbing off their opening lows. The S&P 500 is off by 0.6% as nine sectors hover in the red.
The discretionary sector is among the early laggards as retailers weigh after a handful of names reported their quarterly results. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF 49.75, -4.62) trades down 8.5% after missing on earnings and revenue and Aeropostale (ARO 15.43, -1.05) is off by 6.6% following its cautious second quarter earnings guidance and below-consensus comparable store sales. Meanwhile, the broader SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 77.40, -0.93) trades with a loss of 1.2%.
On the flip side, the consumer staples sector is the lone advancer as Dow component Procter & Gamble (PG 82.10, +3.40) trades higher by 4.2% after the company reaffirmed its guidance and named Alan G. Lafley President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Lafley has previously served as company President and CEO from 2000 to 2009.DJ30 -58.13 NASDAQ -18.16 SP500 -9.22 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 570/114.3 mln/1551 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 565/63.1 mln/2091
09:16 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -8.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -14.50. Equity futures trade near their pre-market lows with the S&P 500 futures off by 0.6%.
Today's better-than-expected durable goods report for April provided a brief boost to index futures before the move was retraced entirely.
For April, durable goods orders rose 3.3% after declining an upwardly revised 5.9% (from -6.9%) in March. The Briefing.com consensus expected durable goods orders to rise 1.6%. The sawtooth pattern in transportation held up despite Boeing (BA 99.51, -0.24) announcing lower aircraft orders in April. Transportation orders rose 8.1% in April as defense and nondefense aircraft orders increased 25.7%. Excluding transportation, durable goods demand was solid all-around and increased 1.3% in April after declining 1.7% in March.
Overseas, Japan's Nikkei gained 0.9% to reclaim a portion of its losses from Thursday while European markets trade in mixed fashion. It is worth noting, however, that financials are among the laggards in the key European markets. Similarly, U.S. financials are poised to begin the session on a lower note. Citigroup (C 50.20, -0.33), Goldman Sachs (GS 156.56, -0.85), and Morgan Stanley (MS 24.11, -0.14) all trade with losses between 0.5% and 0.7%.
08:56 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -7.60. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -13.30.
U.S. equity futures remain in the red with the S&P 500 futures down 0.5%.
The major Asian bourses saw a mixed session with Japan's Nikkei (+0.9%) gaining back just a small portion of yesterday's loss. Action was volatile as trade had swings of 3% in either direction before climbing back into the green ahead of the close. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda spoke overnight in Tokyo, stating the central bank's aggressive policy that was launched in April is "necessary and sufficient," and that "We don't have a specific target for stock prices or currency rates, and I won't comment on daily moves." Reports out overnight suggested the Bank of Japan was once again providing liquidity to the Japanese bond market. Elsewhere, indications are the People's Bank of China will push for an exchange rate mechanism later in 2013. Data out overnight was limited to the Philippines trade deficit, which narrowed to $593.1 million ($966.7 million previous).
Key European indices trade in mixed fashion after seeing early gains across the board. Investors received several economic data points with Germany as the focal point. The second estimate of Germany's GDP confirmed first quarter growth of 0.1% quarter-over-quarter, in line with expectations. In addition, the Ifo Business Climate Index rose to 105.7 from 104.4 (104.5 expected). The current assessment component surprised to the upside with a reading of 110.0 (107.2 forecast) while Business Expectations held steady at 101.6, as expected. Also of note, the GfK Consumer Climate rose to 6.5 from 6.2 (6.2 expected). Elsewhere, French Business Survey rose to 92 from 88 (89 expected). Italian consumer confidence slipped to 85.9 from 86.3 (86.8 forecast). Spanish PPI declined 0.5% (+0.9% consensus). In the United Kingdom, BBA Mortgage Approvals were reported at 32.2K (32.7K expected, 31.4K prior).
In news, European Commissioner Michel Barnier said the European Union plans to publish a report on financial supervision overhaul by the end of the year. Also of note, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann believes asking the European Central Bank to calm markets creates a weak Europe and that state insolvencies must be possible within the euro area.
08:33 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -4.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -8.50. Equity futures moved up in reaction to the latest durable orders data. However, the S&P 500 futures continue to trade lower by 0.3%.
April durable goods orders increased by 3.3%, which was better than the 1.6% increase that had been expected among economists polled by Briefing.com. This comes after the prior month's reading was revised up to reflect a decrease of 5.9%.
Excluding transportation related items, durable goods orders increased by 1.3%, which was better than the 0.5% rise that had been broadly anticipated.
08:02 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -6.40. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -12.50.
U.S. equity futures trade near their pre-market lows with the S&P 500 futures off by 0.5%.
Looking at overnight developments:
In U.S. corporate news:
April durable orders and durable orders ex-transportation will be reported at 8:30 ET.
06:52 am : [BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -6.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -13.00.
06:52 am : Nikkei...14612.45...+128.50...+0.90%. Hang Seng...22618.67...-51.00...-0.20%.
06:52 am : FTSE...6655.60...-41.40...-0.60%. DAX...8292.32...-61.00...-0.70%.