US Stocks End Choppy Day Mixed 03/25 16:06
U.S. stocks capped a day of choppy trading with an uneven finish Monday as
investors wrestled to make sense of newly pessimistic outlooks for the global
(AP) -- U.S. stocks capped a day of choppy trading with an uneven finish
Monday as investors wrestled to make sense of newly pessimistic outlooks for
the global economy.
Traders also weighed another troubling drop in long-term bond yields, which
many see as a warning sign of a possible recession.
Large-company stocks ended broadly lower, led by drops in big technology
companies. Apple fell 1.2 percent after announcing several new services
including streaming video and news. Small-company stocks fared better.
The bout of volatile trading left the S&P 500 index slightly lower,
extending the benchmark index's losses from a broad market sell-off last week.
"Today's moves are very reflective of very different interpretations of the
environment and risks ahead," said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington
Trust. "Different investors and different investment shops are interpreting the
data very differently."
The S&P 500 dropped 2.35 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,798.36.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 14.51 points, or 0.1 percent, to
25,516.83. It was down as much as 130 and up as much as 100 earlier in the day.
The Nasdaq composite lost 5.13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,637.54. The
Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 6.94 points, or 0.5
percent, to 1,512.86.
Major European stock indexes finished lower as uncertainty over Brexit
Despite the market's recent slide, the S&P 500 index is still up more than
11 percent so far in 2019, an unusually strong start to a year.
Stocks spent much of the morning wavering between gains and losses as
investors weighed another downbeat outlook on the economy.
Citing a global slowdown and trade conflicts, economists from the National
Association for Business Economics collectively project that growth will reach
a modest 2.4 this year and just 2 percent in 2020.
That's in sharp contrast to the Trump administration's predictions that
growth will accelerate in the coming years. Still, the economists say they
think a recession remains unlikely any time soon.
Worried investors have shifted money into bonds, sending yields lower. The
yield on the 10-year Treasury slid to 2.40 percent from 2.45 percent late
Friday. At one point, the yield had fallen to 2.38 percent, briefly triggering
deeper declines in the stock indexes.
The 10-year Treasury yield remains below the yield on the three-month
Treasury bill, a worrying sign that in the past has preceded recessions. That
"inversion" occurred on Friday and has spooked investors.
"Really, the things that are driving markets are the uncertainties about
global growth and also about how the Fed is going to respond to the inversion
of the yield curve," Tilley said.
The market's recent skid follows what has been a strong start to the year on
Wall Street as stocks rebounded from a steep slide at the end of 2018. The bull
market for U.S. stocks recently marked its 10th anniversary and is now the
longest of all time.
Monday's shaky start to the came amid a lull in news on the tariffs war
between the United States and China. Trade talks are due to resume Thursday in
U.S. stock indexes did not appear to have a significant move either way in
response to news that the special counsel's probe into Russian meddling in the
2016 presidential election concluded without finding evidence that the Trump
campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia.
Attorney General William Barr issued a summary of the report Sunday, in
which Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that President
Donald Trump's campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to influence the
election. Mueller also reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed
Still, the end of the Russia probe alleviates some reasons for concern in
the market," said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments.
"The Mueller report, at the margin, is a net positive for the market, as it
removes some degree of uncertainty, although some uncertainty remains about
what the various and ongoing investigations will turn up," he said.
Losses in technology and financial companies outweighed gains in consumer
discretionary and industrial stocks Monday.
Chipmaker Micron Technology dropped 2.6 percent, while Synchrony Financial
slid 1.4 percent. Homebuilder Lennar climbed 3.6 percent to lead the consumer
discretionary sector, while retailer L Brands picked up 2.6 percent.
Apple's splashy announcement of new offerings, including a subscription TV
service due to launch in the fall, failed to impress investors. The stock slid
1.2 percent after the consumer electronics giant disclosed details of its
forthcoming Apple TV Plus and other services, including subscriptions for games
The company did not say how much Apple TV Plus, which will be ad-free, will
cost or when exactly it will debut.
The new service will put Apple in direct competition with big streaming
services including Netflix and Amazon Video. Apple is pushing digital
subscriptions as it searches for new growth amid declining sales of its
iPhones, long the company's marquee product and main money maker.
Airline shares declined as major carriers continued to cancel flights due to
the grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft as federal regulators continue to
investigate two deadly crashes involving the plane model.
American Airlines fell 1.2 percent a day after the company said it will be
canceling about 90 flights a day through April 24. The airline has 24 Boeing
737 Max aircraft in its fleet.
Southwest Airlines, which has 34 Max aircraft, is canceling, on average, 130
daily flights. Its shares slid 1.3 percent. Boeing fared better, adding 2.3
Energy futures finished mostly higher. Benchmark U.S. crude oil dipped 0.4
percent to settle at $58.82 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard,
rose 0.3 percent to close at $67.21 a barrel.
Wholesale gasoline added 0.6 percent to $1.94 a gallon, heating oil gained
0.7 percent to $1.98 a gallon and natural gas inched up 0.1 percent to $2.76
per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold gained 0.8 percent to $1,322.60 an ounce, silver rose 1 percent to
$15.57 an ounce and copper picked up 0.5 percent to $2.86 a pound.
The dollar fell to 110.06 yen from 110.07 Japanese yen on Friday. The euro
strengthened to $1.1312 from $1.1294.