U.S. stocks finished mixed, following a strong push to start the week, with Walgreen’s Boots Alliance weighing on the Dow after its disappointing earnings and slashed guidance, and as indecision seemed to linger after today’s mixed durable goods orders data. Sentiment appeared to be subdued with market participants looking ahead to U.S./China trade talks later this week and Friday’s nonfarm payroll report. Treasury yields were lower, giving back some of yesterday’s jump and the U.S. dollar was higher as U.K. BREXIT uncertainty remained elevated. Crude oil prices were higher for a third-straight session and gold advanced, while Europe and Asia mostly gained ground.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 79 points (0.3%) to 26,180, the S&P 500 Index was flat at 2,867, and the NASDAQ Composite increased 20 points (0.3%) to 7,849. In moderately heavy volume, 743 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.1 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ WTI crude oil gained $1.10 to $62.69 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was up $0.03 at 1.93 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price rose $3.48 to $1,291.23 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.1% higher at 97.35.
February preliminary durable goods orders fell 1.6% month-over-month (m/m), compared to the Bloomberg estimate of a 1.8% drop and January’s downwardly-revised 0.1% increase. Ex-transportation, orders nudged 0.1% higher m/m, in line with forecasts and compared to January’s favorably-revised 0.1% dip. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, considered a proxy for business spending, edged 0.1% lower, compared to projections of a 0.1% gain, though the prior month’s figure was revised higher to a 0.9% increase from the initially reported 0.8% rise. Digging deeper into the report, orders for machinery dropped, with orders for computers and electronic products falling, while orders for electrical equipment, appliances and components, along with primary metal and fabricated metal products, rose in February.
Treasuries were higher, with the yields on the 2-year note and the 10-year note declining 3 basis points (bps) to 2.30% and 2.48%, respectively, while the 30-year bond rate dipped 1 basis point to 2.88%.
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