The blue-chip index registered its 33 rd record for 2017 to finish above the 22,000 threshold yet again on a day marked by losses for other benchmarks. Further, the Dow notched its eighth straight daily rise, buoyed by an increase in shares of Pfizer. The SP 500 ended in the red after the energy sector slumped due to a steep fall in the shares of Concho Resources and Apache Corp. Nasdaq continued its lackluster performance as it ended in the red again and this has primarily been due to the tech overvaluation issue. Moreover, the broader markets incurred losses as the Russia investigation led by Robert Mueller intensified.For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) The blue-chip index closed at 22,026.10, an all-time high, rising by 0.1% or 9.86 points in the process. The SP 500 Index (INX) declined 0.2%, decreasing 5.41 points to close at 2,472.16. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,340.34, declining 22.30 points or 0.4%. A total of around 6.6 billion shares were traded on Thursday, above the last 20-session average of 6.1 billion shares. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,348 to 1,343. On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by 1,420 to 1,205.
Dow Continues Winning Streak
The blue-chip index continued its winning streak on Thursday after crossing the psychological milestone for the second time on the trot. This performance can be attributed to a 1.6% rise in shares of Pfizer PFE . However, decline in a 1% decline in shares of Goldman Sachs GS weighed on the Dow Meanwhile, Apple AAPL shares fell by an identical amount, following spectacular gains for the iPhone maker in the aftermath of strong third quarter results.
Early in the session, the blue-chip index had suffered minor losses after the Russia investigation led by Robert Mueller intensified. But the index recovered later to close at a record high yet again. Investors have not been too happy with the Trump Administration following a series of failures during the course of implementing its much vaunted reforms. However, the broader markets have gained from encouraging economic conditions and exceptional calendar second-quarter earnings.
Energy Shares Dip Dragging SP 500 Lower
The SP 500 ended in the negative territory on Thursday after a slump in the energy sector with the Energy Select SPDR declining 1.3%. Eight of the eleven major industry sectors closed in the red with the energy sector leading the decliners. The tumble in the energy sector was triggered by a steep decline in the shares of Concho Resources CXO and Apache Corp. APA which declined 8.7% and 8.1%, respectively.
Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $49.03 per barrel, declining 1.1%. This decline occurred after investors decided to refrain from investing in the commodity, preferring to wait until the much anticipated OPEC meeting slated for next week unfolds. Crude prices also took a hit following news that oil trader Andy Hall was closing his energy-centric hedge fund after this prediction that oil prices would climb faster in 2017 went wrong, resulting in a loss of 30%. Further, with Trump and party in a legislative straight jacket, market watchers are increasingly losing faith in him and this has led to broader losses for SP 500.
The Institute for Supply Management announced that its nonmanufacturing index has fallen to 53.9% in July from 57.4% in June, representing the weakest rate of growth in 11 months. Further, the report stated that gauges for production, new orders, employment, deliveries, inventories, order backlogs and new-export orders have all decelerated. The employment index also reduced to 53.6% in July from 55.8% in June.
The business activity index showed growth for a 96th consecutive month but declined 4.9 percentage points in July from June. Also, the new orders index reported lower at 55.1 in July as compared to 60.5 in June.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Oil and gas transportation and refining partnership, Genesis Energy, L.P. GEL recently announced that it will enter the chemical industry with the acquisition of the alkali business of Stamford, CT-based, Tronox Limited. ( Read More )
Today’s Stocks from Zacks’ Hottest Strategies
It’s hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +18.8% from 2016 – Q1 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +157.0%, +128.0%, +97.8%, +94.7%, and +90.2% respectively. And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 – Q1 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 11X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we’re willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation. See Them Free
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report