Wall Street closed mixed on Tuesday following the release of tame inflation data which offset the free fall of Boeing stocks on safety issues. Moreover, investors shrugged off Brexit-related problems as positive news came from the trade war front. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended in the green while the Dow suffered loss.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed at 25,554.66, declining 0.4%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.3% to close at 2,791.52. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 7,591.03, gaining 0.4%. A total of 6.7 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 7.4 billion shares. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1.09-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, advancers had an edge over decliners by 3.31-to-1 ratio. The CBOE VIX decreased 3.9% to close at 13.77.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow ended in negative territory reversing previous day’s gains. Notably, 19 stocks of the 30-stocks blue-chip index finished in the green while eleven ended in the red. The Dow’s worst performer was The Boeing Co. (BA - Free Report) which declined 6.2%. Several countries such as the U.K., China, 19-member Eurozone, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Australia grounded 737 MAX 8 planes following two air crashes in five months. Boeing carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
The S&P 500 also closed in the green for second successive day. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) gained 0.7% whilethe Industrials Select Sector SPDR (XLI) lost 0.8%. Notably, 10 of the eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green. The tech-heavy Nasdaq finished in the green for the second consecutive day buoyed by strong performance of technology stocks.
CPI Data In Line
On Mar 12, the Department of Labor released Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) data for the month of February. Although inflation rose for the first time in four months, CPI for February came in at 0.2%, in line with the consensus estimate. Year over year, the cost of living index declined to 1.5% in February compared with 1.6% in January. February’s yearly CPI gain is the smallest since September 2016.
However, core CPI –- the key inflation metric, which excludes erratic price changes of food and energy –- rose 0.1% in February, below the consensus estimate of 0.2%. Year over year, core CPI declined to 2.1% compared with 2.2% in January.
Brexit Deal Rejected
On Mar 12, British lawmakers rejected the proposed Brexit deal submitted by British Prime Minister Theresa May. The British parliament rejected the deal with 391 members voting against it while 242 supported the deal. Britain will now decide whether it will go exit the European Union without a deal. Alternatively, the dateline of Mar 29 by which the U.K. is scheduled leave the EU can be deferred.
Positive Development on Trade War Front
On Mar 12, U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer told the Senate Finance Committee that the government hopes for a final deal with China within a few weeks. The two sides have reportedly come to an understanding about currencies. However, negotiations are still underway as to how China is going to protect U.S. intellectual properties.
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