U.S. Market Indexes Lower as Investors Consider Rate Increase Affects

U.S. market indexes were lower on Thursday as valuations fell slightly following consideration of a rate hike at the Fed’s next meeting in June. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost -91.22 points or -0.52 percent to close at 17,435.40. The S&P 500 was also down, closing at 2,040.04 for a loss of -7.59 points or -0.37 percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed lower at 4,712.53 for a loss of -26.59 points or -0.56 percent. The VIX Volatility Index was higher at 16.42 for a gain of 0.47 points or 2.95 percent as volatility increased with uncertainty.

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Source: DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Google Finance

Wednesday’s Market Movers

In the Dow Jones Industrial Average, stocks trading actively included Home Depot, Cisco and Wal-Mart. All three companies reported earnings this week with Wal-Mart’s earnings on Thursday. Home Depot and Cisco both traded higher on Thursday. Home Depot was up -0.04 points or -0.03 percent to close at $131.73. Cisco was up after reporting earnings Wednesday that beat analysts’ estimates for revenue and earnings per share. For Thursday, the company’s stock closed at $27.57 for a gain of 0.85 points or 3.18 percent.

On Thursday, Wal-Mart reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations for both revenue and earnings per share. Revenue of $115.9 billion, beat estimates by $2.68 billion and increased 0.9 percent from the comparable quarter. Earnings per share of $0.98 beat expectations by $0.10. For the day, Wal-Mart’s shares were up 6.05 points or 9.58 percent to $69.20.

The day’s closely watched economic indicators included jobless claims and The Conference Board’s Leading Indicators Report. Jobless claims showed improvement during the week with claims down 16,000. The Conference Board’s Leading Indicators Report was also positive at a gain of 0.6 percent. Improvements in manufacturing and continued growth in housing were key highlights for the day’s report.

The Nasdaq Composite closed lower at 4,712.53 for a loss of -26.59 points or -0.56 percent. The Nasdaq 100 was also lower at 4,315.58 for a loss of -22.65 points or -0.52 percent. In the technology sector, Cisco, Tesla and Seagate Technologies were top gainers while PACCAR and Discovery Communications led losses.

In commodities, gold traded lower as evidenced by the SPDR Gold Trust which reported a loss of -0.23 points or -0.19 percent. The dollar was higher for the day as the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.13 points or 0.14 percent to 95.32.

Small-Cap Stocks

In small-caps, the Russell 2000 closed at 1,094.76 for a loss of -8.20 points or -0.74 percent. The S&P 600 closed at 670.97 for a loss of -5.22 points or -0.77 percent. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Growth TSM Index closed at 6,719.01 for a loss of -47.68 points or -0.70 percent. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Value TSM closed at 7,966.67 for a loss of -49.40 points or -0.62 percent.

Other Notable Indexes

Other notable index closes included the S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index which closed at 1,431.10 for a loss of -5.05 points or -0.35 percent; the Russell 3000 which closed at 1,199.15 for a loss of -4.99 points or -0.41 percent; and the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index which closed at 577.07 for a gain of 0.34 points or 0.06 percent.

Julie Young

[email protected]

Julie Young is a Senior Market Reporter and Analyst

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