Benchmarks finished in the red following lower-than-expected manufacturing data from China and Europe’s disappointing economic data. Concerns over global growth prospects weighed on Fed rate hike possibilities and drove financials stocks downward. Moreover, oil prices fell following worries over global crude supply gut, which weighed on energy and materials stocks. All the three key U.S. indexes ended at their lowest level in the last three weeks.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decreased 0.8%, or 140.25 points, to close at 17,750.91. The S&P 500 fell 0.9% to close at 2,063.37. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,763.22, 1.1%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 6.3% to settle at 15.6. A total of around 7.8 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, higher than the last 20-session average of 7.1 billion shares. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 74% stocks that declined, 24% advanced.
Markit and Caixin Media jointly reported that China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) fell from 49.7 in March to 49.4 in April. The reading has remained below 50 for the fourteenth straight month. Further, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics its manufacturing PMI fell from 50.2 in March to 50.1 in April.
Moreover, the European Commission reduced its economic growth forecast for both the eurozone and the European Union (EU) yesterday. The commission expected the eurozone economy to grow by 1.6% in 2016 and 1.8% next year, compared to the previous forecast of 1.9% in both 2016 and 2017. Also, the commission estimated that the EU will grow at a 1.8% rate in 2016, lower than the 2% forecasted in 2015. In 2017, economic output of EU is expected to expand at a rate of 1.9% as compared to the earlier projection of 2% rise.
Weaker-than-expected manufacturing data of China and Eurozone’s dismal economic outlook raised global growth worries and weighed on Fed rate hike chances, which in turn resulted in a sell-off in financial stocks. The Financials Services Select Sector SPDR (XLFS) lost 2.5%, and was the biggest decliner among the S&P 500 sectors. Dow components JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) fell 1.9% and 1.8%, respectively. Top holdings from the sector such as, Bank of America Corporation (BAC), Citigroup Inc. (C), Wells Fargo & Company ( WFC), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) decreased 2.8%, 2.4%, 1.2%, 1.4% and 1.1%, respectively.
Additionally, oil prices declined following China’s growth worries, concerns over global crude supply glut and stronger dollar. Iraq reported that crude supply from southern fields increased from 3.286 million barrels per day (bpd) in March to 3.364 million bpd in April. Moreover, crude production from OPEC members like Saudi Arabia and Iran also increased. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index was up 0.3% rising for the first time since April 22. The WTI crude and Brent crude fell 2.6% and 2.9% to $43.65 per barrel and $46.75 a barrel, respectively.
Due to continuous fall in oil prices, the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) decreased 2.4% and was the second biggest loser among the major S&P 500 sectors. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) fell 12% and was biggest drag among the S&P 500 companies. Other key components including, Schlumberger Ltd (SLB), EOG Resources ( EOG), Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD) and ConocoPhillips (COP) decreased 2.7%, 2.6%, 3.9% and 3.8%, respectively. While, Dow components Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM), and Chevron Corp (CVX) declined 1.1% and 1.9%, respectively.
Also, the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) fell 1.7%. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) fell 11.4% and was second biggest pull among the S&P 500 companies. Other key holdings of the materials sector such as, Monsanto Company (MON), Alcoa Inc. (AA), PPG Industries, Inc. ( PPG), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD) and Dow Chemical Company (DOW), decreased 1.9%, 5.6%, 1.6%, 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively.
In economic news, Autodata reported that domestic vehicle sales in April came in at 13.8 million, which was more than the consensus estimate of 13.5 million and March’s reading of 13.3 million. Further, total vehicle sales increased by 4.8% in April to 17.4 million, more than the consensus estimate of 17.3 million.
In earnings news, Pfizer Inc’s (PFE) shares rose 2.7% after first quarter earnings of 67 cents per share beat Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents. Revenues of $13 billion also came in higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11.9 billion. Pfizer now expects to earn $2.38 – $2.48 per share on revenues of $51 billion – $53 billion. The company had previously guided towards earnings of $2.20 – $2.30 per share on revenues of $49 billion – $51 billion in 2016.
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