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A.I. Stocks Switch Places with Energy Plays Today

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Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Market indices traded places today. We’ve seen a clear tech rally — based on the A.I. play spearheaded by companies like NVIDIA (NVDA - Free Report) over the past week, month and year to date, but today around noon ET we saw the blue-chip Dow separate from the pack to the upside. By the end of the day, tech was the lagging industry and energy led the way. The Dow gained +300 points, +0.77%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down -0.79%, or -140 points. The S&P 500 and Russell 2000 split the difference: -0.25% and -0.39%, respectively.

For the Dow, this marks its best trading session of the month of June. It also marks three-straight up-days in the market for the blue-chip 30. The S&P hit another record high intraday, but slid as of the noon hour on to the close. The Nasdaq saw a seven-day winning streak come to an end today, though it’s still up +6% month to date. The Russell is another down day like the one it experienced today from being in the red year to date.

Today was a classic “reversion to the mean” story. The top-heavy A.I. play — while far from over on a longer-term vista — took a breather, and the rotation into more traditional sectors better represented on the Dow was quick and tidy. We’ll see how long this lasts, but at this rate it would take at least another two sessions or more before the Dow and Nasdaq are more closely aligned. Year to date, the Dow is +3.8%, but the Nasdaq is +20%.

This morning’s economic data was a full plate. Jobless Claims were mixed — down on new claims but up on longer-term unemployment. Housing Starts and Building Permits were both down, further illustrating the high-mortgage-rate environment’s impact on the housing market. Philly Fed manufacturing was up, but lower than anticipated. In general, we continue to see signs of the economy cooling, which assists any attempt to foresee a sooner Fed cut to interest rates than had been in the tea leaves.

Friday morning brings us more sector-specific data. However, none of these reports will be out ahead of the opening bell: S&P Manufacturing and Services PMI for June will join Existing Home Sales and Leading Economic Indicators for May. Whether these prints have any sway over Friday’s trading will likely have to do with the magnitude of surprise for one or more of these metrics. All major indices are up for the week so far, and we look for it to close in the green with further moderating economic numbers.

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