Updated: 08-26-2016

The Market at 04:10PM ET
Dow: -53.01… | Nasdaq: +6.71… | S&P: -3.43…
NASDAQ Vol: 1.471 bln… Adv: 1347… Dec: 1502…
NYSE Vol: 797.0 mln… Adv: 1187… Dec: 1762…

Moving the Market

Fed Chair Janet Yellen: rate hike case has strengthened in recent months 

Japan's August inflation data disappoints; spurs further stimulus expectations

Somewhat hawkish tone to early Fed speakers 

Fed Vice Chair Fischer: more than one rate hike could take place before the end of 2016, if economic data lives up to expectations

Sector Watch
Strong: Financials, Technology, Health Care
Weak: Telecom Services, Utilities, Consumer Staples

04:10PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended a downbeat week on a flat note as commentary from the Jackson Hole Symposium boosted U.S. rate hike expectations and weighed on the major averages. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.3%) settled behind the S&P 500 (-0.2%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%).

Equity indices enjoyed a modest bid at the start of the session as investors pored over a less-hawkish-than-feared interpretation of Fed Chair Yellen's seminal address. Chair Yellen indicated that the case for a rate hike had improved in recent months, but she also acknowledged that monetary policy is not on a preset course.

Investors initially shrugged off the commentary, evidenced by a transitory decline in the fed funds futures market. The implied probability of a rate hike at the September meeting briefly fell to 18.0%, slipping from the prior session's estimate of 21.0%. Additionally, equities and Treasuries rallied to session highs while the U.S. Dollar Index (95.49, +0.72, 0.76%) carved out a session low.

The broader market shifted gears near midday when Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer resuscitated concerns regarding the speed and path of interest rate normalization. In a CNBC interview, Mr. Fischer indicated that more than one rate hike could take place before the end of the year. However, the Fed Vice Chair conditioned the potential hikes on a steady improvement in economic data. In response, the implied probability of a rate hike at the September meeting rose to 36.0% while the odds of an interest rate hike at the December meeting moved to 63.7%.

The S&P 500 (-0.2%) pared losses in the final hour, reclaiming technical support near the 2168/2171 price level. Despite the rebound, seven sectors ended in the red with the defensively-oriented telecom services (-1.1%) and utilities (-2.1%) sectors rounding out the leaderboard. On the flipside, heavily-weighted financials (+0.1%), technology (+0.1%), and health care (+0.4%) outperformed.

The countercyclical health care sector (+0.4%) ended in front of the pack, narrowing its week-to-date loss to 1.8%. Biotechnology displayed relative strength as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 285.14, +2.27) rebounded 0.8%. In the group, Amgen (AMGN 171.97, +1.74) outperformed while Mylan Labs (MYL 43.03, +0.18) recovered 0.4%. Mylan was under pressure this week as investors weighed criticisms regarding the price of its EpiPen device. Conversely, St. Jude Medical (STJ 78.01, +0.19) ended higher by 0.2% after responding to yesterday's bearish commentary from Muddy Waters Capital.

In the technology sector (+0.1%), the high-beta chipmakers outperformed, evidenced by the 0.5% gain in the PHLX Semiconductor Index. Micron (MU 16.51, +0.31) rallied 1.9%, sporting a week-to-date gain to 1.6%. This compares to a gain of 0.5% in the price-weighted index. Separately, large cap component Facebook (FB 124.96, +1.07) outperformed.

The consumer discretionary space (-0.3%) demonstrated relative weakness as retail names underperformed. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 45.02, -0.34) ended lower by 0.8%, extending its week-to-date loss to 2.0%. Dow component Nike (NKE 59.00, -0.24) settled lower by 0.4% after being downgraded to "Neutral" from "Buy" at B. Riley & Company. Separately, Big Lots (BIG 50.57, -2.37) underperformed as investors evaluated mixed quarterly results. 

Treasuries ended on a lower note as yields rose through the curve. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr note finished higher by four basis points (1.62%) while the yield on the 2-yr note finished at 0.84% (+5 bps).

Today's participation was above the recent average as more than 797 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Today's economic data included the second estimate of Q2 GDP, July International Trade in Goods, and the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for August: 

  • Second quarter GDP was revised down to 1.1% from 1.2%, as expected, while the GDP Price Deflator was revised up to 2.3% (Briefing.com consensus 2.2%) from 2.2%.
    • There was no real change to second quarter GDP, which everyone had already realized was quite disappointing despite the strong pickup in consumer spending.
  • July International Trade in Goods showed a deficit of $59.32 billion, compared to the June deficit of $64.5 billion.
  • The final reading for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for August dipped to 89.8 (Briefing.com consensus 90.6) from the preliminary reading of 90.4.
    • The reading checked in just below the final reading of 90.0 for July.

For further details on these economic releases, be sure to visit Briefing.com's Economic Calendar page.

Monday's economic data will include July Personal Income (Briefing.com consensus 0.4%), Personal Spending (Briefing.com consensus 0.3%), and Core PCE Prices (Briefing.com consensus 0.1%), which will each be released at 8:30 ET. 

  • Russell 2000 +9.0% YTD
  • S&P 500 +6.1% YTD
  • Dow Jones +5.6% YTD
  • Nasdaq Composite +4.2% YTD 

Week in Review: All Eyes on Jackson Hole

The stock market spent the bulk of the week inside a narrow range, but Friday was a bit more active as participants responded to remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who spoke at the Kansas City Fed Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

During her speech, Ms. Yellen said that the case for a rate hike has strengthened in recent months, but she also noted that business investment remains soft and subdued foreign demand has restrained exports. Furthermore, Chair Yellen noted that future policymakers should explore the possibility of purchasing a broader range of assets. Overall, Ms. Yellen's speech could be deemed as hawkish or dovish depending on which elements one chose to focus on.

Ms. Yellen was followed by Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer, who appeared on CNBC and indicated that more than one rate hike could take place, but more data needs to be analyzed before that decision is made. Stocks retreated after these comments while rate hike expectations were pulled forward.

According to the fed funds futures market, the implied likelihood of a September rate hike increased to 36.0% from 21.0% on Thursday while the implied probability of a rate hike in December increased to 63.7% from yesterday's 51.7%.

The S&P 500 lost 0.7% for the week while the Nasdaq (-0.4%) outperformed slightly.

The first half of the trading week was very quiet even though participants received a few more quarterly reports from retailers. Best Buy (BBY), Guess? (GES), and PVH (PVH) surpassed estimates while Express (EXPR), Dollar General (DG), and Dollar Tree (DLTR) disappointed.

Although Friday's focus was squarely on the speech from Fed Chair Yellen, investors also received the second estimate of second-quarter GDP, which was revised down to 1.1% from 1.2%, as expected, while the GDP Price Deflator was revised up to 2.3% (Briefing.com consensus 2.2%) from 2.2%. There was no real change to second-quarter GDP, which everyone had already realized was quite disappointing despite the strong pickup in consumer spending.

Dow: -53.01… | Nasdaq: +6.71… | S&P: -3.43…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1347/1502. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1187/1762.

03:30PM ET
[BRIEFING.COM]
  • The dollar index surged post-Yellen, +0.7% around the 95.47 level
    • Commodities, as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index, were trading nearly flat, around the 84.98 level
  • Crude oil saw increased volatility, swinging around between gains and losses before settling at the midpoint of its initial rally after rig count data
    • October crude oil futures rose $0.31 (+0.7%) to $47.64/barrel
    • Baker Hughes total U.S. rig count down 2 to 489 following last week's increase of 10
    • The next OPEC meeting will take place in Algeria from Sept 26-28
  • Natural gas extended yesterday's post-EIA gains, also saw heavy volatility post-Yellen, trading between gains and losses before settling higher
    • September natural gas closed $0.02 higher (+0.7%) at $2.87/MMBtu
  • In precious metals, gold & silver manage to close higher despite drifting to session lows as the dollar swung between notable gains & losses
    • December gold ended today's session up (+0.2%) $2.10 to $1326.60/oz
    • September silver closed today's session $0.16 higher (+0.9%) at $18.65/oz
Dow: -36.68… | Nasdaq: +9.14… | S&P: -1.90…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1346/1473. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1199/1735.

03:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] As the stock market enters its final hour of trade for the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.5%) trades neck-and-neck with the S&P 500 (-0.5%).

All ten sectors trade in the red with commodity-sensitive energy (-0.7%) and materials (-0.9%) leading countercyclical telecom services (-1.2%) and utilities (-2.0%) on the bottom of the leaderboard. On the flipside, health care (-0.1%) and technology (-0.2%) show the narrowest losses.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average (-0.8%) displays relative weakness as airlines underperform. The U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS 22.12, -0.34) trades lower by 1.5%, extending its month-to-date loss to 1.8%. This compares to loss of 0.5% in the broader Transportation Index. Separately, Kirby (KEX 51.82, -1.17) has declined 2.3%, rounding out the index.

Treasuries trade on a broadly lower note as yields rise throughout the complex. The yield on the 2-yr note has increased five basis points to 0.84% while the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note has also ticked higher by five basis points (1.63%).

Dow: -86.43… | Nasdaq: -12.29… | S&P: -9.17…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1062/1752. …NYSE Adv/Dec 886/2054.

02:35PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.5%) has carved out a new session low, violating technical support near the 2165 price level. The benchmark index is now down 1.0% for the week.

The commodity-sensitive energy sector (-0.5%) trades in-line with the broader market, pulling back from a strong August performance. The energy group sports a month-to-date advance of 1.6%, leading the remaining sectors over that time. This compares to a monthly gain of 14.4% in crude oil futures. WTI crude trades higher by 0.5% ($47.55/bbl, +$0.22) ahead of its pit session close at 14:30 ET.

In the sector, oilfield service names underperform following the latest U.S. rig count data. Baker Hughes reported that the total U.S. rig count declined to 489 following last week's reading of 491. On that note, Schlumberger (SLB 80.58, -0.76) trades lower by 0.9%. The broader energy sector has trimmed its year-to-date gain to 13.8%, trailing only defensively-oriented telecom services (-1.3%; year-to-date: +14.2%) on the yearly leaderboard.

Dow: -99.37… | Nasdaq: -17.37… | S&P: -10.17…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 980/1816. …NYSE Adv/Dec 836/2088.

02:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages have traded in sideways fashion as the S&P 500 (-0.4%) trails the Nasdaq Composite (-0.2%).

The leaderboard remains little changed with countercyclical telecom services (-1.0%) and utilities (-1.6%) leading the downside. The remaining decliners sport losses between 0.2% (financials) and 0.7% (energy). Conversely, health care (UNCH) flirts with its flat line.

The consumer staples sector (-0.4%) trades behind the broader market as Walgreens Boot Alliance (WBA 78.92, -1.25) weighs on the space. The name trades lower by 1.6% after announcing that it exercised the second tranche of AmerisourceBergen (ABC 85.43, -0.08) warrants. Walgreens now owns approximated 56.8 million shares, which represnts about 23.9% of AmerisourceBergen's outstanding equity. The broader sector shows a week-to-date loss of 1.2%, leading only energy (-0.7%; week-to-date: -1.7%) and utilities (-1.5%; week-to-date: -1.7%) over that time.

On the commodities front, gold ended its pit session higher by 0.2% ($1,326.60/ozt; +$2.10), narrowing its weekly loss to 1.5%. The precious metal has declined 2.3% month to date.

Dow: -91.46… | Nasdaq: -13.58… | S&P: -8.61…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1046/1732. …NYSE Adv/Dec 968/1937.

01:25PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages remain trapped in negative territory with the S&P 500 shedding 0.3%.

Market participants waited on pins and needles for today's commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen; however, the late-morning speech from the Fed Chair was largely in line with remarks made in the past. Chair Yellen acknowledged that the case for a rate hike has strengthened in recent months, but she was quick to point out that incoming data has the potential to influence the rate hike discussion. Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer appeared on CBNC shortly after Ms. Yellen's speech, indicating that more than one rate hike could take place before the end of 2016 if economic data lives up to expectations.

Speculation about more than one hike before 2017 was met with a retreat in the market, which leaves the key indices near their lows. For its part, the Dollar Index (95.18, +0.41) has climbed 0.4%.

Dow: -74.03… | Nasdaq: -8.01… | S&P: -6.54…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1156/1613. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1106/1773.

01:05PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market has endured a volatile first half of trade as investors ruminate over recent commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.3%) trails the S&P 500 (-0.2%) and the Nasdaq Composite (UNCH). The three indices sport week-to-date losses between 0.5% and 0.8%.

The major averages began the day on a modestly higher note as investors weighed mixed performances from global bourses and waited to hear from speakers at the Kansas City Fed's Economic Symposium. Japan's Nikkei (-1.2%) led to the downside overnight as disappointing inflation data spurred questions regarding the efficiency of monetary policy in dealing with slow consumer spending.

Equity indices notched session highs in the first hour of trade as investors responded to less-hawkish-than feared commentary from Fed Chair Yellen. Ms. Yellen stated that the case for increasing the fed funds rate has strengthened, but that monetary policy is not on a preset course. As such, Chair Yellen failed to offer a timetable for a rate hike despite her upbeat read on the U.S. economy. In response, equities and Treasuries rallied in lockstep while the dollar slipped.

The bullish response would prove to be short-lived as commentary from Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer renewed fears regarding a sooner-than-expected fed funds rate hike. Mr. Fischer stated that there was a chance that the Fed could hike rates twice before the end of the year, but followed the remarks by stating that the Fed needs to see a steady improvement in economic data.

The benchmark index trades off its session low, maintaining support near the 2165 price level. Eight sectors trade in the red with defensively-oriented utilities (-0.9%) and telecom services (-1.0%) acting as noticeable laggards. Conversely, heavily-weighted health care (+0.1%) and technology (+0.1%) outperform.

Biotechnology outperforms in the heavily-weighted health care sector (+0.1%), evidenced by the 0.2% gain in the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 283.95, +1.08). In the ETF, Mylan Labs (MYL 43.38, +0.53) is trading higher by 0.6%, narrowing this week's loss to  5.6%. The stock was under pressure this week after several lawmakers and organizations criticized the company over the price of its EpiPen device. The broader sector has lost 2.1% this week, trailing the remaining spaces.

The PHLX Semiconductor Index (+0.3%) displays relative strength as Micron (MU 16.40, +0.20) extends yesterday's winning streak. The stock jumped 4.5% in the prior session after having its price target raised to $20 from $16 at Nomura.

The economically-sensitive financial sector (UNCH) trades flat as rate-sensitive real estate investment trusts weigh on the group. Separately, money center banks outperform as markets weigh the increased possibility of a rate hike before the end of the year. The fed funds futures market estimates the implied probability of a rate hike at the September meeting at 30.0%, rising from 21.0% earlier in the session. The odds of a rate hike at the December meeting have increased to 57.2% from yesterday's likelihood of 51.7%.

The U.S. Dollar Index (95.20, +0.43, +0.45%) trades near a session high with the pound, euro, and yen losing ground to the greenback. The pound has ticked lower by 0.3% against the dollar (1.3150) while the single currency has lost 0.4% against the buck (1.1233).

Treasuries trade on a mixed note with the short end of the curve displaying relative weakness. The yield on the 2-yr note is higher by two basis points at 0.80%. 

Today's economic data included the second estimate of Q2 GDP, July International Trade in Goods, and the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for August: 

  • Second quarter GDP was revised down to 1.1% from 1.2%, as expected, while the GDP Price Deflator was revised up to 2.3% (Briefing.com consensus 2.2%) from 2.2%.
    • There was no real change to second quarter GDP, which everyone had already realized was quite disappointing despite the strong pickup in consumer spending.
  • July International Trade in Goods showed a deficit of $59.32 billion, compared to the June deficit of $64.5 billion.
  • The final reading for the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for August dipped to 89.8 (Briefing.com consensus 90.6) from the preliminary reading of 90.4.
    • The reading checked in just below the final reading of 90.0 for July.

For further details on these economic releases, be sure to visit Briefing.com's Economic Calendar page.

Dow: -43.42… | Nasdaq: +0.89… | S&P: -2.33…
NYSE Adv/Dec 0/1.

12:30PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages trade near fresh session lows as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.4%) trades behind the S&P 500 (-0.3%) and the Nasdaq Composite (-0.2%). The benchmark index is looking to establish support near the 2165 price level.

The consumer discretionary space (-0.4%) demonstrates relative weakness as retail names underperform. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 44.98, -0.38) trades lower by 0.8%, extending its week-to-date loss to 2.1%. This compares to a decline of 0.9% in the broader consumer discretionary sector.

In the group, Dow component Nike (NKE 58.56, -0.66) trades lower by 1.1% after being downgraded to "Neutral" from "Buy" at B. Riley & Company. However, the stock sports a gain of 5.5% in the month of August. Separately, auto part retailers underperform with AutoZone (AZO 755.68, -17.37) falling 2.3%. The stock has declined 4.2% since being removed from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch's 'US 1 List' on Wednesday.

The U.S. Dollar Index (95.26, +0.49, +0.52%) trades near a session high with the pound, euro, and yen losing ground to the greenback. The pound has ticked lower by 0.3% against the dollar (1.3150) while the single currency has lost 0.5% against the buck (1.1225).

Dow: -66.19… | Nasdaq: -9.74… | S&P: -5.78…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1223/1497. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1165/1692.

12:00PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The broader market has pulled back in recent trade as the S&P 500 (+0.1%) trades 15 points off its session high. The benchmark index sports a week-to-date loss of 0.5%.

Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer recently stated that the Employment Situation Report for August would be important in determining the FOMC's September rate decision. The Employment Situation Report for August is scheduled to be released on September 2 while the Federal Reserve will make its next interest rate determination on September 21.

The economically-sensitive financial sector (+0.1%) has pulled back alongside the broader market as rate-sensitive real estate investment trusts weigh on the group. The sub-group has whipsawed alongside defensively-oriented utilities (-0.4%) and telecom services (-0.7%).

Money center banks outperform in the financial sector (+0.1%) with Wells Fargo (WFC 48.46, +0.08) and Citigroup (C 46.91, + 0.19) gaining 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively. The broader sector has advanced 0.5% this week, leading the remaining groups.

Treasuries trade on a mixed note as the front end of the curve displays relative weakness. The yield on the 2-yr note has ticked up to 0.81% (+2 bps) while the yield on the 10-note is flat at 1.58%.

Dow: -19.01… | Nasdaq: +8.33… | S&P: +1.23…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1501/1202. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1571/1271.

11:30AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages have inched higher in recent action as the Nasdaq Composite (+0.7%) and the S&P 500 (+0.6%) trade ahead of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.5%).

The heavily-weighted health care sector (+0.8%) tops the leaderboard as biotechnology outperforms. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB 285.65, +2.78) trades higher by 1.0%, trimming its weekly loss to 1.6%. Mylan Labs (MYL 43.52, +0.67) is higher by 2.4%, rebounding from recent weakness after several lawmakers and organizations criticized the company over the price of its EpiPen device. The stock sports a week-to-date loss of 10.6%.

In the broader sector, Dow component Merck (MRK 62.96, +0.64) outperforms, gaining 1.0%. Conversely, health care plan names display relative weakness as Cigna (CI 128.69, -0.71) and Anthem (ANTM 125.80, -1.31) lose 0.6% and 1.0%, respectively. The broader sector has lost 1.4% this week, trailing the remaining sectors.

On the commodities front, WTI crude trades higher by 0.8% ($47.70/bbl; +$0.37) while gold has gained 0.7% ($1,334.60/ozt, +$10.00).

Dow: +87.93… | Nasdaq: +36.05… | S&P: +12.29…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1889/781. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2194/664.

11:00AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages have inched off fresh session highs as the Nasdaq Composite (+0.6%) leads the S&P 500 (+0.5%). Equities and Treasuries rallied lockstep following remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen that were deemed not as hawkish as some had feared.

The Federal Reserve Chair indicated that the case for increasing the fed funds rate has strengthened in recent months. Ms. Yellen cited improvements to labor markets and expectations for moderate economic growth for the upbeat prognosis. The commentary left out a timetable for a rate hike and pointed to continued reliance on incoming data. Ms. Yellen added that business investment remains soft and that monetary policy is not on a preset course.

The fed funds futures market estimates the implied probability of a rate hike at the September meeting at 18.0%, slipping from 21.0% earlier in the session. The odds of a rate hike at the December meeting have increased to 53.5% from yesterday's likelihood of 51.7%.

The U.S. Dollar Index (94.77, 0.00, 0.00%) carved out a new low after the remarks from Chair Yellen, but has since rebounded back near its flat line. The brief weakness in the greenback boosted dollar-denominated commodities as oil and gold each notched new highs. WTI crude trades higher by 0.7% ($47.65/bbl, +$0.32) after initially jumping to the $48.40/bbl price level. Gold trades has ticked higher by 0.9% to $1,336.40/ozt.

Dow: +93.68… | Nasdaq: +32.61… | S&P: +11.74…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1801/810. …NYSE Adv/Dec 2138/684.

10:00AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages float below session highs as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%) trades in-line with the S&P 500 (+0.3%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.3%).

The leaderboard remains little changed with industrials (+0.4%), technology (+0.4%), and materials (+0.5%) leading the advance.

Just released, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for August was revised to 89.8 from 90.4 while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 90.6.

The U.S. Dollar Index (94.56, -0.22, -0.23%) hovers above a session low as the euro, pound, and yen each gain ground against the greenback. The single currency has gained 0.2% against the dollar (1.1301) while sterling has advanced 0.2% against the buck (1.3222). Separately, the dollar/yen pair trades lower by 0.3% (100.28) as investors eye weaker-than-expected inflation data out of Japan.

Dow: +75.64… | Nasdaq: +18.21… | S&P: +7.61…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1592/768. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1908/746.

09:45AM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market began its day on a higher note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) trading neck-and-neck with the S&P 500 (+0.4%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.4%).

All ten sectors trade in the green with technology (+0.5%) and materials (+0.6%) leading to the upside. The remaining gainers show upticks between 0.2% (consumer discretionary) and 0.4% (industrials).

In the consumer staples space (+0.4%), beverage names outperform with Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD 127.51, +1.71) gaining 1.4%. Reports indicated that the company is planning to eliminated 5500 jobs after completing the SABMiller PLC (SBMRY 57.80, +0.25) deal. The broader sector has lost 0.2% this week, trading in-line with the benchmark index.

Retail names trade slightly behind the broader consumer discretionary space (+0.2%). In the group, Big Lots (BIG 53.33, +0.39) outperforms after beating top-line estimates for the quarter. Conversely, Dow component Nike (NKE 58.70, -0.54) weighs after being downgraded to "Neutral" from "Buy" at B. Riley & Co.

On the commodities front, WTI crude trades higher by 0.2% ($47.44/bbl; +$0.13) while gold has jumped 0.65 to $1,332.90/ozt.

Dow: +81.32… | Nasdaq: +20.25… | S&P: +9.19…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1329/836. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1808/777.

09:17AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +4.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.30.

The stock market is on track for a modestly higher open as the S&P 500 futures trade four points above fair value.

Index futures hover above their flat lines as investors respond to cautious trade in overseas markets. Japan's Nikkei (-1.2%) underperformed, reacting to weaker-than-expected inflation data. The data points spurred hopes for additional policy accommodations, but also signaled the inefficiency of monetary policy in dealing with slow consumer spending. Separately, European bourses trade near their flat lines as investors eye above-consensus economic data and pore over recent commentary from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

A slew of Federal Reserve officials have recently offered soundbites at the Kansas City Fed's Economic Symposium. For the most part, the group has struck a somewhat hawkish tone, indicating that a rate hike before the end of the year remains in the realm of possibilities. However, participants have maintained their holding pattern ahead of commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Ms. Yellen will address the symposium at 10:00 ET.

In company specific news, Herbalife (HLF 59.00, -2.93) trades lower by 4.7% following reports that investor Carl Icahn considered selling his stake in the company. Additionally, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman recently confirmed that Jefferies Group approached him about buying a portion of Icahn's position. Bill Ackman is known for being bearish on Herbalife and also holds a widely publicized short position in the stock. Separately, Rackspace (RAX 31.50, +1.31) has gained 4.3% after agreeing to be acquired by Apollo Global (APO 18.47, 0.00) for $32.00 per share. The deal is valued at $4.3 billion and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Today's economic data will be capped off with the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for August (Briefing.com consensus 90.6), which will be released at 9:45 ET.


08:58AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +4.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +3.10.

The S&P 500 futures trade four points above fair value. 

Equity indices across Asia-Pacific ended the week on a mostly lower note with Japan's Nikkei (-1.2%) showing relative weakness. Weak inflation data was cited for the decline, but the yen saw limited movement, slipping 0.3% to 100.23 against the dollar. In addition, caution ahead of today's speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen also contributed to the defensive action.

  • In economic data:
    • Japan's August National CPI -0.4% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). Tokyo CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.4%) and Tokyo Core CPI -0.4% year-over-year (consensus -0.3%; last -0.4%). BoJ Core CPI +0.5% year-over-year (last 0.8%)
    • South Korea's August Consumer Confidence ticked up to 102 from 101
    • Singapore's Industrial Production -4.0% month-over-month (expected -1.1%; last -1.5%); -3.6% year-over-year (consensus 0.9%; last 0.6%)

---Equity Markets---

  • Japan's Nikkei lost 1.2%, ending the week lower by 1.1%. Nine sectors finished in the red with health care (-2.4%), financials (-1.9%), and industrials (-1.6%) leading the retreat. Terumo, Chugai Pharmaceutical, Toyota Motor, Nitto Denko, Alps Electric, Tokio Marine Holdings, and Fanuc lost between 2.7% and 4.9%.
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4%, but shed 0.1% for the week. Consumer names like China Mengniu Dairy, Tingyi, and Want Want China gained between 5.3% and 6.6%. Financials also had a good showing with HSBC, Bank of East Asia, and Bank of China Hong Kong rising between 0.8% and 0.9%.
  • China's Shanghai Composite added 0.1%, narrowing its weekly loss to 1.2%. Taiyuan Lionhead Cement, Beijing Xinwei Technology Group, and Topchoice Medical Investment advanced between 5.1% and 6.9%.

Major European indices trade near their flat lines while Italy's MIB (-0.1%) underperforms amid weakness in financials. The euro (1.1303) and the pound (1.3214) hold slim gains against the dollar after the release of better than expected data, but equity markets have been range-bound as participants await remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

  • In economic data:
    • Eurozone July M3 Money Supply +4.8% year-over-year (consensus 4.9%; last 5.0%) and Private Sector Loans +1.8% year-over-year, as expected (previous 1.8%)
    • Germany's September GfK Consumer Climate 10.2 (expected 9.9; last 10.0)
    • UK's Q2 GDP +0.6% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +2.2% year-over-year, as expected. Index of Services +0.5% (expected 0.4%; last 0.3%) and Q2 Business Investment +0.5% quarter-over-quarter (expected -0.8%; last -0.6%); -0.8% year-over-year (consensus -1.4%; last -0.8%)
    • France's Q2 GDP 0.0% quarter-over-quarter, as expected (last 0.0%) and August Consumer Confidence ticked up to 97 from 96
    • Spain's July Retail Sales +4.9% year-over-year (consensus 4.0%; last 5.7%)

---Equity Markets---

  • France's CAC is higher by 0.2%. Vivendi has stumbled 4.5% after missing estimates while financials trade in mixed fashion. Credit Agricole and Societe Generale hold respective losses of 0.7% and 0.4% while BNP Paribas adds 0.1%. Cap Gemini is the top performer, climbing 1.5%.
  • UK's FTSE has ticked higher by 0.1% as miners outperform while drugmakers lag. Glencore, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Anglo American, and Fresnillo are up between 0.7% and 2.4%. On the flip side, AstraZeneca, Shire, and GlaxoSmithKline are down between 0.5% and 1.2%.
  • Germany's DAX has slipped 0.1%. Prosiebensat and E.On are both down near 1.0% while Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are down 0.4% and 0.9%, respectively. Exporters have had a good showing with Volkswagen rising 1.8% while Daimler and BMW add near 0.2% apiece.
  • Italy's MIB is down 0.1% with Banco Popolare, Banca Pop Emilia Romagna, Unicredit, UBI Banca, Banca di Milano Scarl, and Mediobanca falling between 1.7% and 2.6%.

08:33AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +2.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -0.10.

The S&P 500 futures trade two points above fair value.

The second estimate of second quarter GDP pointed to an expansion of 1.1%, down from the 1.2% increase observed in the preliminary reading. The Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 1.1%. The first quarter GDP Deflator rose to 2.3% while the consensus expected a revision to 2.2%.

Separately, July International Trade in Goods showed a deficit of $59.32 billion, compared to the June deficit of $64.5 billion.


08:05AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +3.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +3.30.

U.S. equity futures trade on a flat note with the S&P 500 futures hovering three points above fair value. Index futures on the benchmark index navigated a narrow five-point trading range overnight as investors adopted a cautious posture ahead of this morning's remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Ms. Yellen is slated to speak at 10 a.m. ET. Participants have been waiting for potential clues as to whether a fed funds rate hike remains possible before the end of the year. However, due to the nature of the discussion, it is possible that Chair Yellen will hold off on offering rate hike commentary.

Separately, St. Louis Fed President, and FOMC voter, James Bullard recently stated that the Fed could raise rates in 2016. However, he emphasized that he will be using the two-regime framework that he articulated in June. The fed funds futures market estimates the implied probability of a rate hike at the September meeting at 21.0%, rising from 12.0% last Friday. The odds of a rate hike at the December meeting are currently 51.7%.

Treasuries trade on a mixed note with the long end of the curve enjoying a modest bid. The yield on the 2-yr note is unchanged at 0.80% while the yield on the 10-yr note has slipped one basis point to 1.57%.

On the economic front, data will include the second estimate of Q2 GDP (Briefing.com consensus 1.1%) and July International Trade in Goods, which will each cross the wires at 8:30 ET. Separately, the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for August (Briefing.com consensus 90.6) will be released at 9:45 ET.

In U.S. corporate news of note:

  • GameStop (GME 29.60, -2.56): -8.0% after reporting a mixed quarter and lowering FY17 comparable store sales guidance
  • Ulta Salon (ULTA 266.00, -5.31): -2.0% following the company reporting a bottom-line beat and raising FY17 EPS and comparable store sales guidance
  • Pure Storage (PSTG 13.20, +1.37): +11.6% after beating top- and bottom-line estimates for the quarter and offering in-line Q3 guidance
  • Splunk (SPLK 61.15, -3.95): -6.1% despite the company topping quarterly estimates and issuing upbeat FY17 revenue guidance 

Reviewing overnight developments: 

  • Asia-Pacific indices ended the week on a mixed note with Japan's Nikkei (-1.2%) underperforming Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.4%) and China's Shanghai Composite (+0.1%). 
    • In economic data:
      • Japan's August National CPI -0.4% year-over-year, as expected (last -0.4%) and National Core CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.5%). Tokyo CPI -0.5% year-over-year (consensus -0.4%; last -0.4%) and Tokyo Core CPI -0.4% year-over-year (consensus -0.3%; last -0.4%). BoJ Core CPI +0.5% year-over-year (last 0.8%)
      • South Korea's August Consumer Confidence ticked up to 102 from 101
      • Singapore's Industrial Production -4.0% month-over-month (expected -1.1%; last -1.5%); -3.6% year-over-year (consensus 0.9%; last 0.6%)
    • In news: 
      • Weak inflation data was cited for the decline, but the yen saw limited movement, slipping 0.1% to 100.41 against the dollar.
      • In addition, the defensive action has been attributed to caution ahead of today's speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
  • European indices trade flat with Germany's DAX (-0.2%), France's CAC (UNCH), and the U.K.'s FTSE (+0.1%). Elsewhere, Italy's MIB (-0.3%) underperforms amid weakness in financials.
    • In economic data:
      • Eurozone July M3 Money Supply +4.8% year-over-year (consensus 4.9%; last 5.0%) and Private Sector Loans +1.8% year-over-year, as expected (previous 1.8%)
      • Germany's September GfK Consumer Climate 10.2 (expected 9.9; last 10.0)
      • UK's Q2 GDP +0.6% quarter-over-quarter, as expected; +2.2% year-over-year, as expected. Index of Services +0.5% (expected 0.4%; last 0.3%) and Q2 Business Investment +0.5% quarter-over-quarter (expected -0.8%; last -0.6%); -0.8% year-over-year (consensus -1.4%; last -0.8%)
      • France's Q2 GDP 0.0% quarter-over-quarter, as expected (last 0.0%) and August Consumer Confidence ticked up to 97 from 96
      • Spain's July Retail Sales +4.9% year-over-year (consensus 4.0%; last 5.7%)
    • In news: 
      • The euro (1.1292) and the pound (1.3207) hold slim gains against the dollar after the release of better than expected data.
      • However, equity markets have been range-bound as participants await remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

06:18AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +4.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +4.50.

06:18AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] Nikkei...16,360.71...-195.20...-1.20%.  Hang Seng...22,909.54...+94.60...+0.40%.

06:18AM ET
[BRIEFING.COM] FTSE...6818.16...+1.30...0.00.  DAX...10517.49...-13.50...-0.10%.

04:15PM ET

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended a choppy session on a modestly lower note as investors maintained a cautious posture ahead of tomorrow's speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.2%) finished behind the S&P 500 (-0.1%) and the Nasdaq Composite (-0.1%).

The benchmark index traversed a narrow ten-point trading range as equity indices continued to languish below recently-established record highs. The Thursday affair was hallmarked by thin trading conditions, a hodgepodge of earning results, and deviating sector leadership from the heavily-weighted technology (+0.1%), financial (+0.3%), consumer discretionary (-0.4%), and health care (-0.8%) sectors.

Equities began the session on a lower note as global markets tilted to the downside. European bourses underperformed following a weaker-than-expected reading of Germany's IFO Business Climate survey for August. However, relatively light volume and the potential market-moving nature of Chair Yellen's Friday remarks also likely contributed to increased volatility in overseas markets.

The major U.S. indices stumbled at the start of the session as disappointing quarterly results and/or guidance from the likes of Dollar Tree (DLTR 85.50, -9.43), Dollar General (DG 75.61, -16.18), and Signet Jewelers (SIG 83.44, -12.06) weighed on investor sentiment. Early morning Fed speak may have also dampened risk appetite after a few officials talked up the potential of a rate hike in the near term. 

The S&P 500 (-0.1%) briefly fell to the 2170/2171 price level before reversing back towards its flat line. However, the broader market was unable to maintain its footing near those levels and slipped back towards its low in the final hour. The benchmark index finished in the bottom of today's trading range, but five sectors still ended in the green. The telecom services (+0.4%) and materials (+0.5%) sectors settled in front of the pack while consumer staples (-0.4%), consumer discretionary (-0.4%) and health care (-0.8%) underperformed.

The countercyclical health care sector (-0.8%) ended its day at the bottom of the leaderboard as biotechnology underperformed. In the group, Mylan Labs (MYL 42.85, -0.30) finished lower by 0.7% as participants weighed fresh criticisms of the drug maker. Mylan surrendered a 4.5% gain as recently-announced initiatives to lower the cost of its EpiPen device were deemed insufficient. Separately, St. Jude Medical (STJ 77.82, -4.06) declined 5.0% after Muddy Waters Capital issued bearish commentary on the name and disclosed a short position in the stock. The firm cited potential cyber security vulnerabilities for its negative view on St. Jude.

Retail names underperformed in the consumer discretionary space (-0.3%) as disappointing results and guidance from Dollar Tree (DLTR 85.50, -9.43), Dollar General (DG 75.61, -16.18), and Signet Jewelers (SIG 83.44, -12.06) overshadowed positive reports from Tiffany & Co (TIF 73.28, +4.41) and Guess? (GES 18.20, +3.30). The broader SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT 45.36, -0.26) ended lower by 0.6%, extending its week-to-date loss to 1.3%.

In the technology space (+0.1%), the high-beta chipmakers outperformed, evidenced by the 0.4% gain in the PHLX Semiconductor Index. In the group, Micron (MU 16.20, +0.69) jumped 4.5% after Nomura increased its price target on the stock to $20 from $16. In the broader sector, Salesforce.com (CRM 80.16, +2.34) gained 3.0% amid takeover rumors. The broader sector gained 0.1%, extending is month-to-date advance to 1.8%. 

Treasuries ended on a lower note as yields rose through the curve. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr note finished higher by one basis point (1.58%) while the yield on the 2-yr note finished at 0.79% (+2 bps).

Today's participation was below the recent average as fewer than 697 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Today's economic data included weekly initial claims and Durable Goods Orders for July: 

  • Initial jobless claims for the week ending August 20 slipped to 261,000 (Briefing.com consensus 265,000) from the prior week's unrevised reading of 262,000.
    • Continuing claims for the week ending August 13 were 2.145 million, down 30,000 from the prior week's unrevised reading.
  • Durable goods orders increased 4.4% in July (Briefing.com consensus +3.5%) on the back of a 10.5% increase in transportation equipment orders, which was fueled by an 89.9% increase in nondefense aircraft and parts orders.
    • Orders for the manufacturing sector have picked up again after declining in both May and June.
    • Excluding transportation, orders were up 1.5% (Briefing.com consensus +0.4%), paced by gains in nearly all categories.

For further details on these economic releases, be sure to visit Briefing.com's Economic Calendar page.

Tomorrow's economic data will include the second estimate of Q2 GDP (Briefing.com consensus 1.1%) and July International Trade in Goods, which will each cross the wires at 8:30 ET. Separately, the final reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey for August (Briefing.com consensus 90.6) will be released at 9:45 ET. 

  • Russell 2000 +9.0% YTD
  • S&P 500 +6.3% YTD
  • Dow Jones +5.9% YTD
  • Nasdaq Composite +4.1% YTD
Dow: -33.07… | Nasdaq: -5.49… | S&P: -2.97…
NASDAQ Adv/Dec 1489/1322. …NYSE Adv/Dec 1651/1305.

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