U.S. equities finished lower, with the Dow hamstrung by a disappointing earnings report from Walmart, which overshadowed favorable results from Home Depot. Early gains for the S&P 500 fizzled, snapping a six-session winning streak, while the Nasdaq also faltered. Amid a dormant economic calendar, Treasury yields continued their grind higher and the U.S. dollar recovered from last week’s decline, while crude oil prices were mixed and gold was lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined 257 points (1.0%) to 24,962, the S&P 500 Index fell 16 points (0.6%) to 2,716, and the NASDAQ Composite ticked 5 points (0.1%) lower to 7,234. In moderate volume, 853 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.9 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil increased $0.24 to $61.79 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $1.75 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price decreased $17.01 to $1,329.45 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.7% higher at 89.71.

Treasuries were lower as the economic calendar was void of any major releases today, as the yield on the 2-year note rose 3 basis points (bps) to 2.22%, the yield on the 10-year note inched 1 basis point higher to 2.88%, while the 30-year bond rate gained 2 basis points to 3.15%.

Bond yields continue to grind higher and the U.S. dollar has rebounded from last week’s decline.

The economic calendar will get moving tomorrow, beginning with MBA Mortgage Applications, followed by Markit’s preliminary business activity reports, with the Manufacturing read expected to tick higher for February, and the Services indicator to move slightly lower. Existing home sales will come later in the morning, forecasted to have moved higher to a level of 5.65 million units for January, and the minutes from last month’s Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting will come in afternoon action.

Schwab Center for Financial Research – Market Analysis Group

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