U.S. equities once again danced around the unchanged line on Wednesday. The lack of volatility remained as headlines were filled with the fallout from President Donald Trump's decision on Tuesday to fire FBI Director James Comey.
The political chaos that has resulted (with many calling it a constitutional crisis, despite the move being well within Trump's executive powers) has many worried that the White House's legislative agenda will be slowed.
In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2%, the S&P 500 gained 0.1%, the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.1% and the Russell 2000 gained 0.6%. Treasury bonds were unchanged, the dollar was lower overall, gold gained 0.2%, and crude oil rallied 3.2% after a surprise inventory draw (the largest since 2016 despite U.S. production back to 2015 levels).
Volume was 101% of the New York Stock Exchange's 30-day average, while breadth was positive, with 1.9 advancers for every decliner. Energy led the way with a 1.1% gain while industrials were the laggards, down 0.4%.
A few of the day's single-stock highlights:
- Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA ) surged 16.8% after a top- and bottom-line beat as datacenter sales more than compensated for some softness in gaming GPU sales.
- Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA ) gained 13.5% on better-than-expected earnings thanks to solid performances from the company's FIFA and Battlefield titles.
- And in a rare bout of good news for the beleaguered retail sector, turnaround play Abercrombie & Fitch Co (NYSE: ANF ) gained 12.6% after Reuters reported the company is receiving takeover interest.
- On the downside, watchmaker Fossil Group Inc (NASDAQ: FOSL ) dropped 21.4% on mixed Q1 results and lowered guidance amid persistent headwinds for the traditional watch category and a lack of traction in its wearables initiatives.
- Yelp Inc (NYSE: YELP ) lost 18.8% on in-line results and weak forward guidance thanks to higher customer churn.
- Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS ) fell 2.4% amid ongoing pressure on its cable business as higher costs weighed on ESPN. That boosted the May $114 DIS puts recommended to Edge Pro subscribers to a 124% gain.
Looking ahead, Thursday will feature an update on inflation with the release of the producer price index data ahead of Friday's retail sales report. Both will likely provide further support for very strong expectations of another Federal Reserve interest rate hike next month.
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