US stocks ended in the red on Tuesday, 25 June 2019. Information technology shares and those related to telecoms suffered sharp losses Tuesday, as commentary from the Federal Reserve moderated hopes for a substantial reduction of benchmark borrowing costs. Rate-cut hopes have thus far underpinned equity market's record rally.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7%, to 26,548. The S&P 500 index finished 1% lower at 2,917. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index endured the brunt of the day's selling, down 1.5% at 7,885.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggested that greater uncertainty about international trade and worries about global economic growth might be starting to show through to economic data, though Fed officials don't know how long that may last or how serious the drag might be.
Expectations for lower interest rates among global central banks and geopolitical concerns have been making gold a preferred investment these days. The Japanese yen, another perceived haven investment, rose 0.2% against the dollar. The yield on the 10-year note fell 2.8 basis points to 1.993%.
Expectations for the upcoming G-20 summit were also lowered after a White House official told Reuters that the U.S. will not accept any new tariff conditions and that the U.S. is not willing to concede to the Chinese on trade. The goal is to simply reopen talks, which was not the constructive tone the market was anticipating.
These subdued expectations, along with some disappointing economic data, contributed to some broad-based profit taking in equities. Ten of the 11 S&P 500 sectors finished lower, led by the mega-cap stocks within the information technology, communication services, and consumer discretionary sectors. The materials sector was unchanged.
Day's economic report showed that the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 121.5 in June from a downwardly revised 131.3 (from 134.1) in May. The index is at its lowest level since September 2017. The key takeaway from the report is that it reflects growing concern about trade tensions among consumers that had been previously lacking, but which had been showing up in business confidence surveys. Flagging confidence on the part of businesses and consumers alike, if it is sustained, is an adverse development for the growth outlook.
New home sales declined 7.8% m/m in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 626,000 from an upwardly revised 679,000 (from 673,000) in April.The key takeaway from the report is that demand was relatively soft despite a drop in mortgage rates and a 2.8% yr/yr decline in the median sales price of $308,000.
Separately, the FHFA Housing Price Index for April increased 0.4% following an unrevised 0.1% increase in March. Also, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for April increased 2.5% as expected after increasing a revised 2.6% in March (from 2.7%).
The dolar index rose 0.2% on Tuesday.
Bullions ended on a mixed note on Tuesday, 25 June 2019 at Comex. Gold futures gave back almost all of the day's gains on Tuesday after comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell raised some doubt over an interest-rate cut in July, but prices still settled a bit higher, holding at their finish since 2013.
August gold settled at $1,418.70 an ounce, the highest finish for a most-active contract since August 28, 2013. It posted a gain of just 50 cents, or 0.04%, after earlier trading as high as $1,442.90, which was the highest intraday level since May 2013. July silver fell 7.7 cents, or 0.5%, to $15.30 an ounce after gaining 3.3% last week.
U.S. oil prices fell on Tuesday, 25 June 2019 posting a modest retreat after three consecutive session gains on the back of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
August West Texas Intermediate crude fell 7 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $57.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Energy Information Administration will release weekly on U.S. petroleum supplies early Wednesday. Market expects to see a decline of 2.8 million barrels in crude stock piles for the week ended June 21. Gasoline and distillate inventories were each expected to fall by 1.1 million barrels.
Looking ahead, investors will receive the following reports on Wednesday: Durable Goods Orders for May, the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index, and the Advance reports for International Trade in Goods, Retail Inventories, and Wholesales Inventories for May.