Amongst the top gainers on the Index were IBM (153.68 +1.43%) and Microsoft (69.41 +1.43). The big board continued to trade in its narrow range and dipped slightly with the S&P 500 fell -0.07% to 2400.67 and Dow Jones Index fell to -0.01% to 20,979.95. Nasdaq remains up and closes 6169.87.
Health services and pharmaceuticals were the poor performers today on the blue-chip index with UnitedHealth falling 1.99% to 168.12 while Pfizer pitched 0.52 points to 32.60 on Citigroup’s downgrade to “sell” from “neutral”.
Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud Unit saw a spike in revenue of 11% to $6.76 bn and Wall Street analysts generally rate it a buy or better.
- Dow Jones Index 20,979.95 -0.01%
- S&P 500 2400.67 -0.07%
- Nasdaq 6169.87 +0.3%
- Russell 2000 1394.68 +0.05%
- NYSE Composite 11606.49 -0.07%
- Gold 1241 +0.49%
- Oil 48.08 -1.19%
Nasdaq Composite meanwhile retains its vigour and closed up 0.3% to 6169.87 notching a 33rd record close this year. Electronic technology and retail trade stocks helped to lift Nasdaq to its record high.
Technology services company, 2U Inc was up +2.55% to 42.67 and 8X8 Inc and electronic technology company moved +3.36% up to 13.85.
Decliners were property and casualty insurer, 1347 Property Insurance Holdings dropping -3.95% to 7.30 and utility, 8point3 Energy Partners fell -2.53%.
Despite oil rally to a two week high at the start of this week, oil prices slipped today to $48.08 on a report from International Energy Agency that suggested the extension of OPEC led production cut agreement will not rebalance the global crude market.
Uneven economic data dents
However, economic data released dents market enthusiasm. The most watched report on the housing sector was released today and showed housing starts were below expectations and although healthy were still disappointing.
Bloomberg notes: “April is proving an uneven month for economic data, led on the positive side by this report and the monthly employment report but offset by weakness in retail sales, housing starts, and consumer inflation. But for manufacturing, today's news is very positive and helps vindicate what has been a long run of very strong signals from regional reports.”
The US Manufacturing report which monitors business activity showed manufacturing activity leaped 1.0% for April.
Investor confidence still somewhat resilient in the face of political uncertainty given President Trump and James Comey debacle and accusations of obstruction of justice.
However, there is now a sense that these troubles may yet have some impact with expectations of difficulty to pass the infrastructure and tax cuts initiative of the Trump Administration.