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End of Day Briefing - Wednesday May 27, 2020

Value stocks lead market higher

Dow +553.16 at 25548.27, Nasdaq +72.14 at 9412.38, S&P +44.36 at 3036.00

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 advanced 1.5% on Wednesday in a broad-based advance led by many of the value-oriented stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+2.2%) and Russell 2000 (+3.1%) outperformed the benchmark index, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 0.8%.

From a sector perspective, the S&P 500 financials (+4.3%) and industrials (+3.3%) sectors benefited the most from this value trade, which was based the speculation that these beaten-down cyclical groups will outperform in an economic recovery that is being priced in the stock market. The information technology sector (+0.5%) was today's sector laggard.

Today's price action was notable in the sense that investors continued to buy the intraday dip (S&P 500 was down 0.7% in the morning), which then progressed into a steady advance throughout the day. A strong finish helped the S&P 500 close firmly above its 200 day-moving average (3000) for the first time since March 4.

Signals out of Washington, meanwhile, were mixed. Senate Majority Leader McConnell said Senate discussions for a fifth COVID-19 relief bill will start in June, while Secretary of State Pompeo said he reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China.

The possibility for more fiscal stimulus was regarded as positive news, while the threat of increased U.S.-China tensions remained something to consider but nothing to worry about. President Trump, meanwhile, threatened "big action" against Twitter ($TWTR 33.07, -0.94, -2.8%) after the company issued fact-checking labels on two of his tweets.

Separately, the Fed's Beige Book noted a sharp decrease in economic activity in all districts based on information collected on or before May 18. This was regarded as "old" news, though, with many businesses continuing to reopen, including a "green shoots" observation from Boeing ($BA 149.52, +4.79, +3.3%).

U.S. Treasuries finished mixed and little changed. The 2-yr yield was unchanged at 0.17%, and the 10-yr yield declined two basis points to 0.68%. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.1% to 99.01. WTI crude declined 1.1% (-$0.38) to $33.98/BBL.

Wednesday's economic data was limited to the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index, which increased 2.7% following a 2.6% decline in the prior week. Looking ahead to Thursday, investors will receive the weekly Initial and Continuing Claims report, Durable Goods Orders for April, the second estimate for Q1 GDP, and Pending Home Sales for April.

  • Nasdaq Composite +4.9% YTD
  • S&P 500 -6.0% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -10.5% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -13.9% YTD

Market Snapshot

SP 5003036.00+44.36(1.48%)
10-yr Note +1/320.688
NYSEAdv 2361 Dec 537 Vol 1.1 bln
NasdaqAdv 2196 Dec 1087 Vol 4.4 bln

Industry Watch

Strong: Financials, Industrials, Real Estate
Weak: Information Technology

Moving the Market

-- Value stocks lead market higher and lift S&P 500 back above its 200-day moving average (3000)

-- Senate will discuss the next COVID-19 relief bill in June, European Commission proposed a EUR750 billion recovery fund

-- Bullish trend prevails on recovery optimism

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In U.S. data, the Richmond Fed manufacturing index rose 26 points to -27 in May, which was a little better than expected.

In Federal Reserve news, the central bank said in its latest Beige Book that economic activity fell "sharply" in most districts due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Fed added that it saw a "steep" employment decrease in most districts and pricing pressures are "steady to down modestly."

Meanwhile, WTI crude prices slipped following a Bloomberg report, citing unnamed sources, that Russia intends to begin easing production cuts starting in June.

In Europe, the European Commission has put forward its proposal for "a major recovery plan" that proposes to create a new recovery instrument, "Next Generation EU," which it said is "embedded within a powerful, modern and revamped long-term EU budget." The Commission said it is "proposing to harness the full potential of the EU budget" with Next Generation EU of EUR 750B as well as targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027 the "will bring the total financial firepower of the EU budget" to EUR 1.85T.

TOP NEWS: Shares of Twitter (TWTR) fell 2.8% after President Trump took aim at the service for having added fact-checking links, for the first time, to his tweets about voting by mail. President Trump claimed via Twitter on Tuesday that the company "is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election" and "completely stifling FREE SPEECH," which he "as President, will not allow." He added in a follow-up tweet on Wednesday that "Twitter has now shown that everything we have been saying about them (and their other compatriots) is correct. Big action to follow!"

Amazon ($AMZN) is said to be in advanced talks to acquire self-driving car technology company Zoox, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Tesla ($TSLA) shares were in focus after the company cut prices for its lineup of electric vehicles, excluding the Model Y, sold in the U.S.

Boeing ($BA) President and CEO Dave Calhoun issued a letter to employees providing an update on workforce actions, which stated in part, "Following the reduction-in-force announcement we made last month, we have concluded our voluntary layoff program. And now we have come to the unfortunate moment of having to start involuntary layoffs. We're notifying the first 6,770 of our U.S. team members this week that they will be affected." In the same letter, Calhoun pointed to "some green shoots," stating that some of the company's customers are reporting that "reservations are outpacing cancellations on their flights for the first time since the pandemic started."

Micron ($MU) shares rose 8% after the company raised its third quarter guidance at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference. The company now sees Q3 adjusted earnings per share of 75c-80c, adding that it is "cautiously optimistic" about sustaining performance in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, WarnerMedia's ($T) HBO Max launched on Wednesday, and the company announced a deal with Comcast ($CMCSA) to bring the streaming service to Xfinity X1 and Flex customers. However, The Wall Street Journal reported that HBO Max continues to be unavailable to Amazon Prime Video subscribers, and that WarnerMedia has yet to reach an agreement with Roku ($ROKU) as well.

Additionally, Disney ($DIS) unveiled plans for a phased reopening of its Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. Of note, the company is proposing a phased reopening of Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11 and Epcot and Hollywood Studios on July 15

MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Mersana Therapeutics ($MRSN), which rose 69% after it reported interim Phase 1 data for its XMT-1536 cancer candidate. Also higher was StoneCo ($STNE), which gained 27.4% after it reported quarterly results.

Among the notable losers was Fiverr ($FVRR), which slid 6.7% after the company filed to sell $100M of ordinary shares. Also lower was Novavax ($NVAX), which fell 5.6% after the company announced the acquisition of Praha Vaccines in an all cash transaction of approximately $167M.

Source: (

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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