Benchmarks closed in the red on Wednesday following continuing decline in energy stocks and mixed economic data. Higher-than-expected rise in crude inventories dragged energy stocks downward. Moreover, disappointing private sector job data also had a negative impact on investor sentiment. However, services data was encouraging.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) decreased 0.6%, or 99.65 points, to close at 17,651.26. The S&P 500 also fell 0.6% to close at 2,051.12. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,725.64, losing 0.8%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 2.9% to settle at 16.05. A total of around 7.7 billion shares were traded on Wednesday, higher than the last 20-session average of 7.2 billion shares. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 59% stocks that declined, 38% advanced.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported yesterday that the U.S. commercial crude oil inventories rose 2.8 million barrels to 543.4 million for the week ended April 29. It was nearly 1 million barrels higher than analysts' expectations. Further, it was more than the increase of 1.3 million barrels reported by the American Petroleum Institute (API) a day earlier.
Moreover, total motor gasoline inventories rose by 0.5 million barrels last week. Rise in crude oil and gasoline inventories had a negative impact on oil prices . Although, WTI crude increased 0.3% to $43.78 per barrel, Brent crude fell 0.8% $44.62 a barrel.
The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) decreased 1.4% and was the biggest loser among the major S&P 500 sectors. Key components including, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation ( APC ), Schlumberger Ltd ( SLB ), EOG Resources ( EOG ), Pioneer Natural Resources Co. ( PXD ), ConocoPhillips ( COP ) and Occidental Petroleum Corporation ( OXY ) decreased 6.2%, 1.9%, 1.6%, 1.2%, 3.7% and 2.1%, respectively. While, Dow components Exxon Mobil Corp ( XOM ), and Chevron Corp ( CVX ) declined 0.2% and 0.7%, respectively.
Also, the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (XLI) lost 1.2% and was the second biggest loser among the S&P 500 sectors. Dow components Boeing Company ( BA ) General Electric Company ( GE ) and 3M Company ( MMM ) declined 1.2%, 1.8% and 0.5%, respectively.
In economic news, a report from Automatic Data Processing, Inc. ( ADP ) revealed that private sector employers added 153,000 jobs in April, lower than analysts' expectations of 193,000. ADP's April estimate was the weakest since February 2014. Moreover, job additions for March were revised down by 6,000 to 194,000. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, non-farm business sector labor productivity declined 1% in the first quarter of 2016, marking fourth quarterly decline in six quarters.
However, the Institute for Supply Management reported that ISM Services Index increased from 54.5% in March to 55.7% in April, indicating expansion in servicing activity for the 75th straight month. Additionally, the reading was more than the consensus estimate of 54.8%.
Further, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that trade deficit decreased from $47 billion in February to $40.4 billion in March. This was also narrower than the consensus estimate of $42.8 billion deficit. Trade deficit fell to lowest settlement in more than a year after imports slumped to its lowest level in last five years.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, new orders for manufactured goods increased 1.1% in March. This was above the consensus estimate of 0.7%. This reading follows a decrease of 1.9% in February.
Separately, shares of Under Armour, Inc. ( UA ) slumped 7.5% after the company disclosed that two of its executives, Chief Merchandising Officer Henry Stafford and Chief Digital Officer Robin Thurston will resign in July. Stafford and Thurston were with the company for six and two years, respectively.
The Priceline Group Inc's ( PCLN ) shares also fell 7.5% after forecasting second quarter EPS to come in at $11.60-$12.50, well below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $14.12. However, its first quarter EPS and revenues of $9.37 and $2.15 billion beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $8.73 and $2.12 billion, respectively. Under Armour and Priceline were the first and second biggest losers among the S&P 500 companies.
Meanwhile, shares of Time Warner Inc. ( TWX ) increased 1.6% after its first quarter EPS and revenues of $1.49 and $7,308 million surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.29 and $7,241 million, respectively.
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