The S&P 500 is limping a little closer towards the end of the quarter

  • The US economy contracted in the first quarter; Declining consumer spending
  • General Mills rose as sales outpace higher prices
  • Bed Bath & Beyond replaces CEO, shares falter
  • Dow Jones up 0.27%, Standard & Poor’s 0.07%, Nasdaq up 0.03%

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 ended a swing session slightly lower on Wednesday, as investors raced toward the finish line of a pessimistic month, a dismal quarter and the worst first half for the Wall Street benchmark since President Richard. Nixon’s first term.

The three major US stock indices spent most of the session swinging between red and green. The Nasdaq joined the S&P 500, closing nominally lower, while the excellent Dow Jones posted modest gains.

“The market is struggling to find direction,” said Megan Hornman, chief investment officer at Verdence Capital Advisors in Hunt Valley, Maryland. “We’ve had disappointing data, and the markets are waiting for earnings season, when we’ll get more clarity” regarding future earnings and the economic slowdown.

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Market leaders Apple (AAPL.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O), and Amazon.com (AMZN.O) provided upside power, while economically sensitive chips (.SOX) were small-scale (.RUT) and transportation (.DJT). ) Underperformance of the broader market.

Heading into the end of the month and the second quarter of the day, the S&P 500 has set a path for the biggest first-half decline since 1970.

The Nasdaq was on track for its worst performance in the first half, while the Dow looked set to post its biggest percentage drop in January-June since the financial crisis.

All three indices were bound to post the second consecutive quarterly declines. The last time this happened was in 2015.

“We have a central bank that has had to shift from an easy fiscal policy decades ago to a tightening cycle,” Hornman added. “This is new to many investors.”

“We are seeing a re-pricing of what we expect to be a very different interest rate environment going forward.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82.32 points, or 0.27%, to 31,029.31, the Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 2.72 points, or 0.07%, to 3818.83 points, and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 3.65 points, or 0.03%, to 11177.89.

Of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, five shed their strength on the day, with energy stocks (.SPNY) suffering the largest percentage drop. Health Care (.SPXHC) led the gainers.

Benchmark Treasury yields are up more than 1,606 percentage points so far in 2022, their biggest jump in the first half since 1984. This explains why interest rate-sensitive growth stocks (.IGX) are down more than 26% year-to-date.

A stock trading information screen is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Fed officials have reiterated in recent days their determination to rein in inflation, setting expectations for a second consecutive rate hike of 75 basis points in July, while expressing confidence that monetary policy tightening will not push the economy into recession. Read more

In economic news, US Commerce Department data showed GDP contracted slightly more than previously reported in the first three months of the year. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the economy, contributed much less than was originally reported. Read more

The day before, a poor consumer confidence report showed that consumer expectations fell to the lowest level since March 2013.

The second-quarter reporting season is still several weeks away, and 130 companies in the S&P 500 announced earlier. Of those, 45 were positive and 77 were negative, resulting in a negative/positive ratio of 1.7 stronger than the first quarter but weaker than last year, according to Refinitiv data.

What will investors hear on these earnings calls?

“Margin pressures, that’s the big concern, pricing pressures, capex plans curtailing because of the slowdown, and if they see any improvement in the supply chain,” Hornman said.

General Mills Packaged Foods Inc. (GIS.N) jumped 6.3% after its sales beat its estimates. Read more

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (BBBY.O) fell 23.6% after the retailer announced that it had replaced CEO Mark Triton, hoping to reverse the recession. Read more

Fedex Corp. (FDX.N) parcel delivery fell 2.6% following its disappointing margin forecast for its floor unit. Read more

Low issues outnumbered advanced issues on the New York Stock Exchange by 1.96 to 1; On the Nasdaq, the ratio was 1.79 to 1 in favor of declining stocks.

The S&P 500 hit a new 52-week high and 36 new lows; The Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and 284 new lows.

Volume on US stock exchanges reached 11.55 billion shares compared to an average of 12.79 billion over the last 20 trading days.

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Stephen Kolb reports. Additional reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Shreyachi Sanyal in Bangalore; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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