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Fly Intel - End of Day Brief - Wednesday July 31, 2019

Stocks end broadly lower following Fed rate cut

Stocks were on hold during the morning, despite last night's better than expected report from Apple (AAPL), as investors awaited the Fed. As expected, the central bank cut its target range for the Federal Funds rate by 25 basis points and the averages saw a bit of a "sell the news" reaction ahead of the associated Fed press conference. Comments made by Fed Chair Powell that seemed to be read as a signal that this could be a one-off rate cut accelerated the selling, but stocks recovered somewhat as Powell clarified that while this is not "the beginning of a long cutting cycle," the Fed could ease again if it sees the need.

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., ADP reported a 150,000 rise in payrolls in July, which was close to expectations. The employment cost index grew 0.6% in Q2, which was a bit below expectations. The Chicago PMI dropped another 5.3 points to 44.4 in July, which was much weaker than expected.

In central bank news, the Federal Reserve cut its interest rate benchmark by 25 basis points, saying it will conclude the reduction of its aggregate securities holdings in the System Open Market Account in August, two months earlier than previously forecast. In comments after the announcement, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said he believes the rate cut was the "right move for today" and noted that there "really is no reason" U.S. economic expansion can't keep going.

TOP NEWS: Shares of Apple rose 2% after the iPhone maker reported better than expected third quarter results and returned to growth after two straight down quarters.

General Electric (GE) shares finished fractionally lower after the company reported Q2 results and boosted its FY19 adjusted EPS view. Of note, GE also announced that CFO Jamie Miller will transition out of that role and the company has initiated a search to identify its next CFO.

Carlyle Group (CG) shares closed 3.4% lower after the investment firm reported second quarter results and said that it is converting from a publicly-traded partnership to a Full C-Corporation, following the lead of several of its private equity and asset management peers.

Meanwhile, Nordstrom (JWN) shares jumped 7.9% after the Wall Street Journal reported that members of the Nordstrom family are in the early stages of weighing a bid to boost their roughly one-third stake in the retailer to over 50%. The Journal noted that if the family opts to move forward with such actions, it might encounter resistance from some independent directors who are wary of allowing the family to take advantage of the stock drop to increase its ownership when they blame its management for the slide.

MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Electronic Arts (EA), which rose 4.4% after it reported quarterly results and provided guidance for the second quarter and fiscal 2020. Also higher after reporting quarterly results were Akamai (AKAM) and Allstate (ALL), which gained a respective 4.9% and 5.5%.

Among the notable losers was Molson Coors (TAP), which slid 5.1% after it reported downbeat quarterly results and announced the upcoming retirement of CEO Mark Hunter. Also lower after reporting quarterly results were AMD (AMD) and Gilead (GILD), which fell 10.1% and 2.3%, respectively.

INDEXES: The Dow fell 333.75, or 1.23%, to 26,864.27, the Nasdaq lost 98.19, or 1.19%, to 8,175.42, and the S&P 500 declined 32.80, or 1.09%, to 2,980.38.


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Disclosure: I may trade in the ticker symbols mentioned, both long or short. My articles represent my personal opinion and analysis and should not be taken as investment advice. Readers should do their own research before making decisions to buy or sell securities. Trading and investing include risks, including loss of principal.

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