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End of Day Brief - Thursday July 15 - Stocks mixed again

SP 5004360.03-14.27(-0.33%)
10-yr Note +2/321.322
NYSEAdv 1242 Dec 1971 Vol 859.0 mln
NasdaqAdv 1703 Dec 2473 Vol 4.4 bln

Industry Watch

Strong: Utilities, Consumer Staples, Financials, Industrials
Weak: Information Technology, Communication Services, Consumer Discretionary, Energy

Moving the Market

-- Mega-caps weigh on market, even as the 10-yr yield declined to 1.30%

-- Weakness in semiconductor space after Taiwan Semi (TSM) missed EPS estimates

-- Mixed economic data, mixed earnings reactions

Dow +53.79 at 34987.02, Nasdaq -101.82 at 14543.13, S&P -14.27 at 4360.03

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 decreased 0.3% on Thursday in a mixed session, although it did battle back from a 0.8% intraday decline. The Nasdaq Composite (-0.7%) and Russell 2000 (-0.6%) underperformed the benchmark index, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.2%.

Declining issues had a modest advantage over advancing issues at the NYSE and Nasdaq, but the most influential losses arguably came from the top seven of the eight stocks in the S&P 500, which comprise 25% of its market capitalization.

NVIDIA ($NVDA 758.65, -35.01, -4.4%) was an eye sore with its 4% decline amid some disappointment surrounding an EPS miss from Taiwan Semi ($TSM 117.53, -6.86, -5.5%). The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index fell 2.2%.

Aside from NVIDIA, the losses weren't catalyzed by any specific news other than what seemed to be an awareness that the mega-caps have had a good run and were probably due for a breather. Entering the session, the Vanguard Mega Cap Growth ETF ($MGK 237.32, -1.24, -0.5%) was up 14.5% since May 12 while the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF ($RSP 150.43, -0.40, -0.3%) was up just 3.3%.

The S&P 500 information technology (-0.8%), consumer discretionary (-0.6%), and communication services (-0.5%) sectors, which contain the mega-caps, were among the worst-performing sectors today. The energy sector (-1.4%) was the weakest link, though, with a 1.4% decline amid lower oil prices ($71.66/BBL, -1.41, -1.9%).

On the upside, there was a mix of cyclical/counter-cyclical winners. The utilities (+1.2%), consumer staples (+0.4%), financials (+0.4%), industrials (+0.2%), and real estate (+0.1%) sectors closed higher. The utilities sector was the only one that gained more than 0.5%.

Interestingly, the 10-yr yield settled lower by six basis points to 1.30% amid reported growth concerns, yet the large growth stocks still struggled and bank stocks rebounded from recent losses. The 2-yr yield increased one basis point to 0.23%. The U.S. Dollar Index increased 0.2% to 92.57.

U.S. Bancorp ($USB 58.82, +1.83, +3.2%) was one of the bank outperformers after beating top and bottom-line estimates while Morgan Stanley ($MS 92.63, +0.17, +0.2%) closed slightly higher following its quarterly results. Dow component UnitedHealth ($UNH420.05, +5.31, +1.3%) was another earnings standout.

In other developments, weekly initial claims reached a post-pandemic low at 360,000 ( consensus 360,000), Fed Chair Powell concluded his semiannual congressional testimony on monetary policy without any surprises, and Treasury Secretary Yellen told NPR she doesn't think high inflation rates will continue in the medium term.

Reviewing Thursday's economic data:

  • Initial jobless claims for the week ending July 10 decreased by 26,000 to 360,000 ( consensus 360,000) -- the lowest level since March 14, 2020. Continuing claims for the week ending July 3 fell by 126,000 to 3.241 million -- the lowest level since March 21, 2020.
    • The key takeaway is that the improving claims levels are consistent with an improving economy that is requiring less layoff, and more hiring, activity.
  • Total industrial production increased 0.4% in June ( consensus 0.7%) following a downwardly revised 0.7% increase in May (from 0.8%). The capacity utilization rate increased to 75.4% ( consensus 75.6%) from a downwardly revised 75.1% in May (from 75.2%).
    • The key takeaway from the report is that it reflected the ongoing constraints the auto industry is facing due to the semiconductor shortage and the impact that is having on overall production.
  • Import prices increased 1.0% in June, while import prices excluding oil increased 0.7%. Export prices increased 1.2% in June, while export prices excluding agriculture increased 1.1%.
  • The Empire State Manufacturing Survey jumped to 43.0 in July ( consensus 18.0) from 17.4 in June.
  • The Philadelphia Fed Index for July decreased to 21.9 ( consensus 28.3) from 30.7 in June.

Looking ahead, investors will receive Retail Sales for June, the preliminary University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment for July, Business Inventories for May, and Net Long-Term TIC Flows for May on Friday.

  • S&P 500 +16.1% YTD
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average +14.3% YTD
  • Nasdaq Composite +12.8% YTD
  • Russell 2000 +10.9% YTD

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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