Mid-Day Update: Bears Regain Control as Consumer Confidence Fades

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Fresh off Wednesday's historic rally, Wall Street's major indices were trading with outsized losses as all 11 sectors of the S&P 500 and all 30 Dow components fell into the red. Weighed down by fading consumer confidence and declining oil futures, the blue chip index was down as much as 500 points before finding support at the 50% Fibonacci retracement of Wednesday's range.

Sectors taking the heaviest losses include Wednesday's high-flying retail sector, technology and energy as supply pressures continue to plague oil futures.

As a result of stock market volatility, political turmoil and a simmering trade war with China, consumer confidence declined in December with the Conference Board index falling to its lowest level since July. But while respondent's view of their current situation was unchanged, the expectations index fell to a two-year low of 99.1 from November's 112.3.

Wednesday's massive 1,000+ point rally in the Dow was also compromised by worries that the partial government shutdown will continue through the end of the year after President Donald Trump pledged to do "whatever it takes" to fund his border wall. And trade tensions resurfaced after the White House initiated efforts to ban US companies from conducting business with China's ZTE Corp and Huawei.

Thursday morning's other economic data was initial jobless claims, which showed 1,000 fewer individuals filed for first-time unemployment claims for the week ending Dec. 22, in-line with expectations.

European bourses limped into the close in sympathy with losses in the US and fresh concerns about the Italian banking system after Banca Carige was denied a cash call last night by its largest shareholder. Shares fell to their lowest level on record, dragging Italy's FTSE-MIB to its lowest level in two years.

Crude oil was down $1.20 to $45.02 per barrel. Natural gas was down $0.03 to $3.51 per 1 million BTU. Gold was up $5.40 to $1,278.50 an ounce, while silver was up $0.17 to $15.30 an ounce. Copper was down $0.03 to $2.67 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 4.02% to $9.50 with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 0.81% to $28.46. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 0.23% to 20.80 while SPDR Gold Shares were up 0.77% to $120.59. The iShares Silver Trust was up 1.28% to $14.29.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:


NYSE Composite Index was down 160.29 points (-1.43%) to 11,043.31

Dow Jones Industrial Index was down 457.77 points (-2.00%) to 22,427.69

S&P 500 was down 40.10 points (-1.62%) to 2,429.38

Nasdaq Composite Index was down 136.97 points (-2.08%) to 6,418.05


FTSE 100 was down 76.69 points (-1.15%) to 6,609.30

DAX was down 219.20 points (-2.06%) to 10,414.62

CAC 40 was down 14.74 points (-0.32%) to 4,611.65

Nikkei 225 was up 750.56 points (+3.88%) to 20,077.62

Hang Seng Index was down 172.50 points (-0.67%) to 25,478.88

Shanghai China Composite Index was down 15.21 points (-0.61%) to 2,483.09


NYSE Energy Sector Index was down 177.52 points (-1.91%) 9,131.52

NYSE Financial Sector Index was down 95.47 points (-1.39%) to 6,779.37

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index was down 211.21 points (-1.43%) to 14,594.66


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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