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Stock Market News for May 19, 2021

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U.S. stock markets closed lower on Tuesday, giving up gains from early in the session, as technology stocks moved lower on rising inflation worries and potential tightening of monetary policy. Moreover, weaker-than-expected housing starts and building permits data for the month of April also dampened investors’ sentiment. All the three major stock indexes closed the day in red.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 0.8%, or 267.13 points, closing at 34,060.66, continuing its two-day losing streak. Notably, 26 components of the 30-stock index ended in red while 4 finished the day in green.

Moreover, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed the day at 13,303.64, down 0.6%, maintaining its losing streak for the second successive session, on the back of weak performance by large-cap technology stocks. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 lost 0.9%, closing the day at 4,127.83, continuing its losses from Monday’s session. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE), the Industrials Select Sector SPDR (XLI) and the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) fell 2.3%, 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively. Notably, nine out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in the negative zone and two in the green.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 8.2% to 21.34. A total of 10.01 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 10.48 billion. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.07-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.

Wall Street Gave up Early Gains and Ended Lower

Wall Street gave up early gains and ended lower in Tuesday’s session as technology stocks moved lower as investors remained worried about rising inflation which can negatively impact high-flying technology growth stocks. Investors also remained concerned about the potential tightening of monetary policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Moreover, market participants remained watchful ahead of the minutes of the Fed’s recent policy meet to be released on May 19, which might provide a better understanding of the Fed’s tolerance level on inflation.

Consequently, shares of heavyweight technology shares like Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report) and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) dipped 1.2% and 0.9%, respectively. Notably, Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Economic Data

Investors’ sentiment took a hit in Tuesday’s session as the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly reported that privately-owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,569,000, falling short of the consensus estimate of 1,706,000. Moreover, the reading was also lower than the March estimate of 1,733,000, which was revised downward from 1,739,000 reported earlier.

Meanwhile, the report stated that privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,760,000 in April, missing the consensus estimate of 1,778,000, but higher than the March estimate of 1,755,000 which was revised downward from 1,766,000 reported earlier.

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