U.S. equities lost steam late in the day to finish lower, but were able to notch another week of solid gains, as yesterday’s rally on increased optimism of rate cuts on the horizon following the Federal Reserve policy meeting was tempered by soft reads on manufacturing globally, as well as lingering tensions in the Middle East. Treasury yields rebounded from a recent slide that took the 10-year note to levels not seen since late-2016, and the U.S. dollar fell, while gold added to yesterday’s rally, and crude oil prices were higher on the geopolitical anxiety and on the heels of a massive explosion and subsequent fire at a refinery in Pennsylvania.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) shed 34 points (0.1%) to 26,720, the S&P 500 Index ticked 4 points (0.1%) lower to 2,951, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 20 points (0.2%) to 8,032. In heavy volume as a result of quadruple-witching, 1.9 billion shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil advanced $0.36 to $57.43 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was up $0.06 at $1.82 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price traded $11.92 higher to $1,400.36 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—lost 0.5% to 96.16. Markets were solidly higher for the week, as the DJIA was up 2.4%, the S&P 500 Index increased 2.2%, and the Nasdaq Composite was 3.0% higher.
Existing-home sales rebounded in May, increasing 2.5% month-over-month (m/m) to an annual rate of 5.34 million units, compared to the Bloomberg expectation of a rise to 5.27 million units and April’s upwardly-revised 5.21 million rate. Sales of single-family homes were higher m/m, but down from year-ago levels, while purchases of condominiums and co-ops rose compared to last month and were down y/y. The median existing-home price rose 4.8% from a year ago to $277,700, and marking the 87th straight month of y/y gains. Unsold inventory came in at a 4.3-months pace at the current sales rate, up from 4.2 months a year ago. Sales rose in all regions, with the Northeast seeing the largest increase. National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding,” adding, that “solid demand along with inadequate inventory of affordable homes have pushed the median home price to a new record high.”
The preliminary Market U.S. Manufacturing PMI Index showed growth unexpectedly slowed in June, declining to 50.1 from May’s unrevised 50.5 figure, where it was expected to remain. In addition, the preliminary Market U.S. Services PMI Index showed growth also surprisingly decelerated for the key U.S. sector this month, falling to 50.7 from May’s 50.9 figure, and versus expectations of a rise to 51.0. Readings above 50 for both indexes denote expansion.
Treasuries were lower, as the yields on the 2-year note rose 2 basis points (bps) to 1.76%, while the yields on the 10-year note and the 30-year bond were up 6 basis points (bps) at 2.06% and 2.59%, respectively.
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