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Benchmarks ended Tuesday’s trading session little changed after investors took a breather. However, the minute gains helped the blue-chip index close at a record level for the tenth time this year. The S&P 500 snapped a four-day winning streak and ended in the red as investors focused on stock valuations. An increase in job openings and a rise in U.S wholesale inventories hardly impacted the markets. For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained a meager 0.02% to close Tuesday’s trading session at 16,945.92. The Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) dropped a meager 0.02% to finish at 1,950.79. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index went up a tad 0.04% to 4,338.00. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) dropped 1.4% to settle at 10.99. Total volume for the day was roughly 5.20 billion shares, lower than last month’s average of 5.76 billion. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 55% stocks that declined, 41% advanced.
The S&P 500 ended in negative territory as investors assessed equity valuations. The S&P 500 traded at 16.5 times the forecasted earnings of its members. This was more than the multiple of 14.8 times at the beginning of February. Moreover, the gauge’s 14-day relative strength index was at 73.7 on Tuesday, above the key technical level of 70. Any reading above 70 indicates a sell signal. Further, analysts have predicted profits from companies on the S&P 500 might increase 7.4% in 2014, less than January’s projection of a growth of 9.7%.
Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP) performed the best among the S&P 500 components. Shares of the company jumped 5.4% to a 52-week high on speculation that the company might buy MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and MolsonCoors. On the other hand, Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) was the worst performing stock. Tyson Foods extended Monday’s losses by another 3.8%. Shares of Tyson Foods dropped after it said on Monday that the company will buy The Hillshire Brands Company (NYSE:HSH) in an all-cash deal valued at $8.55 billion or $63 per share.
In another development, RadioShack Corp. (NYSE:RSH) plunged 10.4% after the company reported wider-than-expected loss. The company reported first quarter 2014 loss of 97 cents per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 54 cents per share.
Internet stocks were the biggest gainers on Tuesday. Shares of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) surged 4.6% after eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) declared that PayPal President David Marcus will leave the company to join Facebook. David Marcus will leave on June 27 to head Facebook’s messaging product business. Other Internet names such as FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ:FEYE), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE:LNKD), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) gained 2.3%, 0.8%, 4.7%, 1.5% and 1.2%, respectively.
Bio-tech stocks also advanced yesterday. Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) skyrocketed 83.3% after the Food and Drug Administration lifted the clinical hold on Achillion’s lead drug sovaprevir. Receptos, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:RCPT) shares surged 36.8% following a positive phase 2 result for its multiple sclerosis drug, RPC1063. Other bio-tech stocks such as Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) increased 0.7%, 0.6% and 0.6%, respectively. Overall, the Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) led the advance among the S&P 500 sectors. The sector gained 0.3%.
Tuesday’s economic data had little impact on the markets. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that US wholesale inventories rose 1.1% in April. This rise in wholesale inventories in April was more than the consensus estimate of a rise of 0.5%. The U.S. Department of Labor reported job openings at US workplaces rose to 4.46 million in April from 4.17 million in March. This rise in job openings was also more than the analysts’ expectations of a rise to 4.03 million.
Six out of 10 sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the red. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB) led the decline among the S&P 500 sectors. The sector declined 0.7%. Key housing stocks from the sector such as DR Horton Inc. (NYSE:DHI), Lennar Corp. (NYSE:LEN), Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE:TOL), Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE:BZH) and PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM) lost 0.9%, 0.4%, 0.4%, 1.7% and 0.5%, respectively.