U.S. stocks traded lower in Friday’s session, chipping away some of a solid weekly gain as financials saw some pressure with market participants scrutinizing a host of quarterly reports from some big banks to unofficially kick-off earnings season. In economic developments, a read on consumer sentiment fell from a 14-year high. Treasury yields were mixed, the U.S. dollar was little changed and gold and crude oil prices were higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined 123 points (0.5%) to 24,361, the S&P 500 Index decreased 8 points (0.3%) to 2,656, and the NASDAQ Composite lost 34 points (0.5%) to 7,107. In moderate volume, 715 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.7 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil rose $0.32 to $67.39 per barrel and wholesale gasoline gained $0.02 to $2.08 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price increased $9.63 to $1,344.57 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was nearly unchanged at 89.78. Markets were higher for the week, as the DJIA gained 1.8%, the S&P 500 Index increased 2.0%, and the NASDAQ Composite ascended 2.8%.
The preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 97.8 in April, from the 14-year high of 101.4 in March, and compared to the Bloomberg expectation of a dip to 100.4. The current economic conditions and the expectations components of the survey both declined as the University of Michigan noted concerns about the impact of the White House’s trade policy. The 1-year inflation forecast dipped to 2.7% from 2.8%, and the 5-10 year inflation forecast declined to 2.4% from 2.5%.
The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), a measure of unmet demand for labor, came in at a level of 6.1 million jobs available to be filled in February, compared to the downwardly revised 6.2 million level in January and forecasts calling for a 6.0 million level. The hiring rate dipped to 3.7% from January’s 3.8% pace, as did the separation rate to 3.5% from 3.6%.
Treasuries were mixed following the data, with the yield on the 2-year note ticking 1 basis point higher to 2.36%, while the yields on the 10-year note and the 30-year bond dipped 2 basis points to 2.82% and 3.03%, respectively.
Treasury yields were mixed and the U.S. dollar was flat, while the stock market trimmed a solid weekly gain. Earnings season shoved off with some scrutiny on the financial sector though the economic backdrop remains solid, while trade concerns, exacerbated geopolitical tensions, monetary policy uncertainty, and festering drama in the White House continue to be sources of volatility.
Schwab Center for Financial Research – Market Analysis Group
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