Benchmarks ended Wednesday's listless trading session little
changed despite upbeat private sector hiring numbers. Investors
refrained from betting ahead of the nonfarm payroll data for June
that is scheduled for release on Thursday. Investors also kept an
eye on Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's comments on
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to
Ahead of Wall Street
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.1% to close
Wednesday's trading session at 16,976.24. The Standard & Poor
500 (S&P 500) advanced almost 0.1% to finish at 1,974.62.
However, the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index dropped a meager
0.02% and closed yesterday's session at 4,457.73. The fear-gauge
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) dropped almost 3.0% to settle at 10.82.
Total volume for the day was roughly 4.79 billion shares, lower
than this month's average of 6.15 billion. Decliners outpaced
advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 60% stocks that declined, 36%
The S&P 500's movement of 0.21% between the highest and the
lowest points during the trading session turned out to be the
second narrowest fluctuation since 1993. The Dow traded in the
narrowest range this year. However, the meager gains helped
benchmarks extend their record highs. The blue-chip index and the
S&P 500 closed at a record level for the second straight day.
The Dow closed at a record level for the thirteenth time this year.
The S&P 500 ended at another high; the twenty-fourth one this
Encouraging private-sector hiring numbers hardly impacted the
markets yesterday. The national employment report from Automatic
Data Processing, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) showed private sector hiring improved in June. The report stated
281,000 private jobs were added in June. This was higher than
expectations of 208,000 job additions. The figure was more than
May's unrevised figure of 179,000. June's job additions were also
the most since November 2012.
The strong ADP report on private-sector hiring came in a day ahead
of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' nonfarm payroll data for
June. Total non-farm payroll accounts for approximately 80% of the
workers who produce the entire GDP of the United States. Analysts
are expecting an addition of 213,000 nonfarm payroll jobs. However,
they believe the unemployment rate will remain unchanged at 6.3%.
Separately, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, new
orders for manufactured goods decreased 0.5% in May. This was more
than the consensus estimate of a decrease by 0.3%. This reading
follows April's revised increase of 0.8%. Excluding transportation,
new orders decreased 0.1% in May. Separately, unfilled orders,
shipments and inventories data were up 0.6%, 0.1% and 0.8%,
Separately, at the International Monetary Fund in Washington,
Yellen said: "Monetary policy faces significant limitations as a
tool to promote financial stability". She added: "Its effects on
financial vulnerabilities, such as excessive leverage and maturity
transformation, are not well understood and are less direct than a
regulatory or supervisory approach". She stated that concerns over
financial stability shouldn't lead to a change in current monetary
Last month, the Federal Reserve kept its monetary policy "highly
accommodative" and suggested there would be no immediate rate
hikes. Yellen added that the central bank will consider a "wide
range of indicators" for deciding rate hikes. She added there "is
no mechanical formula" to help Fed decide on raising rates.
Among individual stocks, Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE:
) was one of the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainers. Shares
of the distributor of Corona beer and Svedka vodka went up 2.3%
after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for the
first quarter of fiscal 2015. Driven by the acquisition of Crown
Imports business last year, adjusted earnings for the first quarter
of fiscal 2015 jumped nearly threefold to $1.07 per share from 38
cents posted in the comparable year-ago quarter. Quarterly earnings
outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 92 cents per share.
Airline stocks posted the biggest losses among the S&P 500
components. Shares of U.S. airline companies such as Delta Air
Lines Inc. (NYSE:
), United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:
), American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ:
) and The Boeing Company (NYSE:
) declined 5.1%, 7.1%, 4.4% and 0.4%, respectively.
The Nasdaq ended in negative territory after momentum stocks showed
signs of weakness. High-growth stocks such as Facebook, Inc.
), Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:
), The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:
) and Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) dropped 2.4%, 1.3%, 0.7% and 4.3%, respectively.
Bio-tech stocks advanced yesterday and key stocks including Gilead
Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:
), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:
) Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:
), Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:
), Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:
) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:
) increased 2.1%, 2.3%, 0.6%, 1.9%, 1.8% and 1.7%, respectively.
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) gained almost 0.8%, the
highest among the S&P 500 sectors.
On the other hand, the utilities sector suffered its biggest
one-day percentage decline since May 2. The sector declined 1.9%.
Key stocks from the sector such as Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:
), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:
), Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:
), Southern Company (NYSE:
), Exelon Corporation (NYSE:
) decreased 1.9%, 1.7%, 2.1%, 1.8% and 3.1%, respectively. Overall,
5 out of 10 sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the green.
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
AUTOMATIC DATA (ADP): Free Stock Analysis
CONSTELLATN BRD (STZ): Free Stock Analysis
DELTA AIR LINES (DAL): Free Stock Analysis
UNITED CONT HLD (UAL): Free Stock Analysis
AMER AIRLINES (AAL): Free Stock Analysis Report
BOEING CO (BA): Free Stock Analysis Report
FACEBOOK INC-A (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report
NETFLIX INC (NFLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
PRICELINE.COM (PCLN): Free Stock Analysis
TESLA MOTORS (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report
GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis
VERTEX PHARM (VRTX): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMGEN INC (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
BIOGEN IDEC INC (BIIB): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.