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Wall Street was mixed with S&P 500 recording fourth consecutive decline

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Wall Street indexes were mixed on Wednesday with investors awaiting a key meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this week. The broader S&P 500 reported a fourth consecutive decline, which is its longest negative series since early May.

The blue-chip index Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 11.40 points, or 0.04%, to 26,536.82 points. The broader S&P 500 moved down by 0.12% to 2,913.78 points, erasing earlier gains. The technology Nasdaq Composite was the only winner today, rising by 0.32% to 7,909.97 points.

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The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was down 0.43% to 16.21.

During the day, the US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that Washington and Beijing have traveled 90% of the way to a trade deal. However, he did not provide more information on what is needed to reach the remaining 10%. Steven Mnuchin expressed confidence that President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping could make progress in the negotiations at the upcoming G20 summit this weekend.

According to unofficial information, the US is even willing to ease customs duties on Chinese imports worth 300 billion USD until the two sides resume trade talks. Donald Trump commented that a trade deal between the US and China is possible.

Trade talks were terminated last month after the US raised customs tariffs on Chinese imports. China replied with a new portion of duties against US imports. The hope for progress in trade negotiations between the two countries only emerged when Donald Trump said that will meet with Xi Jinping at the G20 summit.

Wall Street indexes had their worst day in June on Tuesday against Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell’s comments that the central bank will assess whether the US economy needs lower interest rates. Powell also explained that the Fed would adopt the wait-and-see approach, given how quickly the latest changes in the economy took place.

Investors say the Fed will lower interest rates by at least 25 points in July. These expectations supported the main indexes this month. Dow Jones and S&P 500 have added more than 6% to their value in June, while Nasdaq rose by 5.9%.

Corporate stocks performance

Micron Technologies performed best among technology stocks after its shares rose by 13%. The largest manufacturer of memory chips in the US said on Tuesday it had begun to supply some components to Huawei after lawyers have reviewed export restrictions. Nvidia shares rose by 5.6%, while On Semiconductor’s shares added 4.2%.

Intel and Apple also performed strong, topping blue-chip gainers, rising by 2.86% and 2.16%, respectively.

FedEx shares rose more than 2.5% after the company reported quarterly earnings that topped analyst expectations.

Consumer-goods giant General Mills shares tumbled 4.5%, a day after it reported disappointing sales for its fiscal fourth quarter.

The stocks of retailer Big Lots gained 2.6% after the company said it would appoint former Abercrombie & Fitch veteran Jonathan Ramsden as a chief financial officer in August.

Shares of KB Home rose 7% in the extended session Wednesday after the builder reported second-quarter results above Wall Street expectations.

Boeing stock rose by 1.5% but pulled back from an intraday high in the last few minutes against the report that 737 Max faces a new “potential risk” and certification test flight won’t take place until at least July 8. The FAA will take two to three weeks after that to review the results.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Micron Technology Inc (+13.4%), Western Digital Corporation (+7.3%) and Marathon Petroleum Corp (+5.57%), while on the flipside were General Mills Inc (-4.45%), NRG Energy Inc (-4.11%) and JM Smucker Company (-3.82%).

Corporate earnings reports

The industrial company Actuant Corporation reported Q3 sales of 295.3 million USD, which represents a decline of 7% YoY. The core sales improved by 3%, while foreign currency rate changes decreased net sales by 4% and divestitures resulted in reduced sales by 6%. Industrial Tools & Services segment revenues amounted to 167 million USD, which is 5% more and delivered a core net sales increase of 8%. The Engineered Components & Systems segment achieved revenues of 129 million USD with a core net sales decrease of 2%.

KB Home earned by 47.5 million USD, or 0.51 USD per share, in the quarter, compared with 57.3 million USD, or 0.57 USD per share, in the year-ago period. The revenue fell to 1.02 billion USD, compared with 1.10 billion USD a year ago. Analysts had expected KB Home to report earnings of 0.39 USD per share on sales of 943 million USD.