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End of Day Briefing - Tuesday August 11, 2020

Late selling ends winning streak in S&P 500 and Dow

Dow -104.53 at 27686.91, Nasdaq -185.53 at 10782.89, S&P -26.78 at 3333.69

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 advanced as much as 0.6% on Tuesday on the back of continued strength in the value and cyclical stocks, but broad-based selling in the last hour of trading left the benchmark index down 0.8% for the session to snap a seven-session winning streak. The Nasdaq Composite underperformed with a 1.7% decline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.4% after rising as much as 1.3% intraday, and the Russell 2000 declined 0.6% after rising as much as 1.2% intraday.

The late-day selling was attributed to comments from Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY), who told Fox News that White House officials have yet to reconvene with congressional Democrats regarding fiscal relief for households and businesses. The news appeared to be a good excuse to tame the market as the S&P 500 came within 0.4% of its all-time high today.

Growth and defensive-oriented stocks saw increased selling that weighed on the S&P 500 information technology (-1.8%), utilities (-2.2%), real estate (-1.9%), and communication services (-1.3%) sectors. Conversely, the financials (+1.3%) and industrials (+0.5%) sectors managed to close higher due to their perceived value.

Notably, U.S. Treasuries and precious metals succumbed to sizable pullbacks. The 2-yr yield increased three basis points to 0.16%, while the 10-yr yield increased eight basis points to 0.66% -- this curve-steepening activity was a boon for the financial stocks. Gold futures fell 4.5% to $1946.90/OZT. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.2% to 93.72. WTI crude futures declined 0.7% to $41.66/BBL.

In other macro developments, President Trump floated the idea of cutting taxes on capital gains and middle-income families to further stimulate the economy, and Russia jumped ahead key testing stages to approve a COVID-19 vaccine. Note, it appears unlikely that Congress would approve such legislation or that people would seek out the Russian vaccine.

Separately, Qualcomm ($QCOM 108.83, +2.47, +2.3%) shares bucked the negative trend in the tech space after the company reportedly won an appeal in its FTC antitrust case.

Reviewing Tuesday's economic data:

  • The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 0.6% in July ( consensus 0.3%) after decreasing 0.2% in May. Excluding food and energy, the index for final demand rose 0.5% ( consensus 0.1%) after decreasing 0.3% in May.
    • The key takeaway from the report is that inflation pressures at the producer level have increased, but they remain low at this time.
  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased to 98.8 in July from 100.6 in June.

Looking ahead, investors will receive the Consumer Price Index for July, the Treasury Budget for July, and the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index on Wednesday.

  • Nasdaq Composite +20.2% YTD
  • S&P 500 +3.2% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average -3.0% YTD
  • Russell 2000 -5.6% YTD

Market Snapshot

SP 5003333.69-26.78(-0.80%)
10-yr Note -27/320.636
NYSEAdv 1473 Dec 1467 Vol 956.0 mln
NasdaqAdv 1266 Dec 1900 Vol 4.3 bln

Industry Watch

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

Moving the Market

-- Late-day selling takes market lower

-- Value and cyclical stocks continue to outperform, growth stocks lag

-- Treasury yield rise in curve-steepening trade

-- President Trump floats idea of tax cuts on capital gains, middle-income families; Russia announces COVID-19 vaccine

ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Producer Prices Index bounced 0.6% in July, with the core rate jumping 0.5%, which both point to hotter than projected inflation. 

TOP NEWS: As the TikTok deal saga continues, Charles Gasparino of Fox Business reported that, despite reports of "preliminary" talks inolving Twitter ($TWTR) for TikTok's U.S. operations, Microsoft ($MSFT) is at least for now the only possible deal being "actively pursued." The news comes a day after the South China Morning Post claimed that TikTok owner ByteDance is unlikely to sell the business to Twitter or Microsoft.

On the earnings front, Tilray ($TLRY) shares fell 12% after the company reported lower than expected second quarter results, driven by a 15.8% year-over-year decrease in Adult Use sales, a 5.3% decrease in Canada Medical sales, and a 5.1% decrease in Hemp sales. Tilray said that sequential sales declines in Adult Use and Canada Medical were "largely attributable" to the impact of COVID-19.

In M&A news, Ligand Pharmaceuticals ($LGND) has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Pfenex ($PFNX) for $12 per share in cash, or $438M in equity value on a fully diluted basis. In addition, Ligand will pay $2 per share or $78M as a Contingent Value Right in the event a predefined regulatory milestone is achieved by December 31, 2021, for a total transaction value of up to $516M. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Ligand shares were 3% lower after the news, while Pfenex shares surged 66% higher.

Additionally, Boeing ($BA) shares rose 3.5% after the company reported that it delivered four jetliners in July and said customers cancelled 43 more of its still-grounded 737 MAX aircraft. Boeing reports no new orders last month. Boeing also removed orders for nine more MAX jets from the backlog from customers facing financial and contract challenges, taking its net backlog down to 4,496 total jets.

MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was HD Supply ($HDS), which rose 8% after Clayton, Dubilier & Rice agreed to acquire HD Supply's White Cap business in a $4B deal. Also higher were j2 Global ($JCOM) and Nautilus ($NLS), which gained a respective 17% and 15% after reporting quarterly results.

Among the notable losers was ZoomInfo ($ZI), which slid 10% after it reported quarterly results and provided guidance for the third quarter and fiscal 2020. Also lower after reporting quarterly results were Fulcrum Therapeutics ($FULC) and GreenSky ($GSKY), which fell 45% and 21%, respectively.

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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