Well off the lows of the day, U.S. stocks finished mixed amid flared-up geopolitical uncertainty after Donald Trump Jr. released emails he exchanged during the Presidential campaign with a Russian lawyer. The street also appeared a bit cautious ahead of tomorrow’s Congressional testimony from Fed Chair Yellen and as the unofficial beginning of Q2 earnings season looms. Treasury yields and the U.S. dollar were lower, while gold and crude oil prices were higher. In equity news, PepsiCo traded lower despite topping earnings forecasts and Arena Pharmaceuticals surged on the heels of some positive drug trial results.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) gained 1 point to 21,409, the S&P 500 Index shed 2 points (0.1%) to 2,426, and the Nasdaq Composite increased 17 points (0.3%) to 6,193. In moderate volume, 784 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil gained $0.64 to $45.04 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was $0.02 higher at $1.52 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price gained $2.09 to $1,216.45 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.3% lower at 95.75.
The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), a measure of unmet demand for labor, dropped to a level of 5.67 million jobs available to be filled in May, from April’s downwardly revised 5.97 million level, which was a record high. The Bloomberg forecast called for a decline to 5.95 million. The hiring rate rose to 3.7% from April’s 3.5% pace, while the separation rate increased to 3.6% from 3.4%.
Treasuries were higher, with the yields on the 2-year note and the 30-year bond dipping 1 basis point (bp) to 1.37% and 2.92%, respectively, while the yield on the 10-year note declined 2 bps to 2.36%. Bond yields have rebounded from depressed levels hit in mid-June and the U.S. dollar has stabilized to close out the first half of 2017 from mid-June lows.
Schwab Center for Financial Research – Market Analysis Group
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