MARKETS SNAPSHOT FOR 29/05/12
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: +125.86 Level: 12580.69 NASDAQ PointChange: +33.46 Level: 2870.99 NQ100 PercentChange: +1.3 R2K PercentChange: +1.4 SP400 PercentChange: +1.3 SP500 PointChange: +14.60 Level: 1332.42 NASDAQ-Adv:1755 Dec: 757 NYSE-Adv:2391 Dec: 640
[BRIEFING.COM] A retreat by the euro to a near two-year low caused stocks to surrender gains, but the major equity averages were able to find support and tick higher into afternoon trade.
The major equity averages were bid up more than 1% this morning as momentum built amid speculation that plans for new spending in China were a sign of the country’s plans for further stimulus. Comments that political leaders in Greece want to remain in the euro were also treated as a positive, although the news failed to provide the euro with a bid.
What was a narrow loss for the euro in the early going grew to something more sizable by midsession. The currency’s drop to $1.250, its lowest level in almost two years, came shortly after analysts at Egan Jones announced they had downgraded the debt rating of Spain. Concerns over macro conditions and the health of banking conditions in Spain had already weighed on Spain’s IBEX before the announcement – it ended the day down more than 2%, while many of the other major bourses of the region staged solid gains.
The euro’s retreat prompted market participants to pare their positions in stocks, forcing all three major equity averages to hand over about half of their gains before stabilizing. The broad market became range bound for the next few hours, but managed to gradually reclaim gains into the close. The euro was also able to lift off of its session low into the close.
Materials stocks were the strongest performers throughout the session. The sector settled the session with a 1.7% gain. It was up about 2% at its best level of the day. Steel stocks were among the sector's strongest performers.
Energy stocks were also strong in the early going, but the sector had a harder time of retracing its pullback. In turn, Energy settled with a gain of 1.3%. Meanwhile, crude oil settled with a 0.1% loss at $90.75 per barrel after it had been up more than 1% at its pit session high of $92.25 per barrel in morning action.
Tech, the largest sector by market weight, provided steady broad market support. The sector also settled shy of its session high, but still booked a 1.4% gain. The highly influential Financial sector finished with a similar gain.
There wasn’t a single sector that suffered a loss, but defensive-oriented Utilities slipped into negative territory on a few occasions. Despite that, the sector managed to muster a 0.4% gain. Fellow defensive issues also lagged.
Economic data were largely inconsequential today. Although, many were surprised to see the Consumer Confidence Index for May fall to 64.9 from a downwardly revised 68.7 in the prior reading since just last week the University of Michigan had posted the strongest Consumer Sentiment Survey in four years.
The economic calendar will remain light ahead of the second reading on first quarter GDP on Thursday and the official monthly payrolls report on Friday.
Advancing Sectors: Health Care +0.4%, Utilities +0.4%, Consumer Staples +0.6%, Telecom +0.8%, Industrials +1.2%, Energy +1.3%, Consumer Discretionary +1.3%, Financials +1.4%, Tech +1.4%, Materials +1.7%
Declining Sectors: None
Dow +1.0%, S&P 500 +1.1%, Nasdaq +1.2%, Nasdaq 100 +1.3%, S&P 400 +1.3%, Russell 2000 +1.4%
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