Wall Street closed mixed on Wednesday as a drop in government bond yields was offset by a series of mixed economic data. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite managed to eke out gains while the Dow fell marginally. U.S. stock markets were closed on Thursday to observe Thanksgiving Day. On Friday, markets will remain open up to 1 PM EST on account of Black Friday.
How Did The Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 9.42 points to close at 35,804.38. Notably, 14 components of the 30-stock blue-chip index ended in the green while 16 in red. Shares of banking stocks fell as the yield on the 10-Year U.S. Treasury Note dropped to 1.644% from 1.665% on Tuesday.
The major loser of the Dow was The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS as its stock price decreased 1.8%. The Goldman Sachs carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
However, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished at 15,845.23, gaining 0.4% due to strong performance by large-cap technology stocks.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to end at 4,701.46. Six out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in positive territory and five in red. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and the Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE) rallied 1% and 1.3%, respectively.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 4.1% to 18.58. A total of 8.9 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 11 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.15-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.27-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
The Department of Labor reported that the weekly jobless claims plunged by 71,000 to 199,000 for the week ended Nov 20, marking the lowest level since Nov 15, 1969. The consensus estimate was 260,000 and the data for the previous week was revised upward to 270,00 from 268,000 reported earlier.
Continuing claims (those who already received government benefit and are reported a week behind) declined 60,000 to 2.05 million. This is the lowest reading since Mar 14, 2020. Total number of people receiving benefits under all programs fell 752,390 to 2.43 million, as of Nov 6.
The Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. GDP for third-quarter 2021 was revised upward to 2.1% from 2% reported earlier. However, the consensus estimate was 2.2%. Corporate profits decreased to $121.4 billion in third-quarter 2021 from $267.8 billion in second-quarter.
Trade deficits in goods for October dropped to $82.9 billion from the previous month’s revised expanded deficit of $97 billion. October’s data was the lowest in the last 12 months.
The Department of Commerce reported that the durable goods orders fell 0.5% in October after declining 0.4% in September. The consensus estimate was for an increase of 0.2%.
However, Orders for core capital goods (excluding aircraft), a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rose 0.6% in October after rising 1.3% in September. Shipments of core capital goods increased 0.3% in October after rising 1.3% in the previous month. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the GDP measurement.
Personal income increased 0.5% in October after declining 1% in September. The consensus estimate was 0.2%. Personal spending rose 1.3% in October after increasing 0.6% in September. The consensus estimate was 1%. Personal savings totaled $1.32 trillion or 7.3%, declined from 7.5% in September, when savings totaled $1.48 trillion.
The personal consumption expenditure (PCE) pride index for the month of October came in at 5%, the fastest gain since November 1990. The core PCE pride index (excluding volatile food and energy items) – Fed’s favorite gauge of inflation – climbed 4.1% in October, its highest since January 1991.
The Department of Commerce reported that new home sales rose 0.4% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 745,000 in October. The consensus estimate was 797,000. September’s data was revised downward to 742,000 from 800,o000 reported earlier.
The University of Michigan reported that the final reading of the U.S. consumer sentiment for the month of November came in at 67.4 compared with an initial reading of 66.8. The consensus estimate was 67.1. However, the final reading in October was 71.7.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 1 million barrels for the week ended Nov 19 from the previous week.
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