US Markets Slightly Soft on Wednesday

It’s a long weekend ahead for markets because of Easter and the US stocks traded moderately lower mostly because of industrial and materials companies. Yesterday’s slide was the second decline in a row.

The portfolio manager Thomas Martin at GLOBALT Investments in Atlanta said, “The market is kind of on hold until we start getting earnings reports and you start to read the body language on what managements are saying. We’re getting this slow churning really until we start getting some information.”

Wednesday’s slide extended the losses for the month and the investors are now looking forward to a fresh round of earnings reports that are due to start. The phone companies, utilities and some other high-dividend stocks were the biggest gainers on Wednesday while the energy stocks fell. The bond prices were also up resulting in lower yields. The six-day winning streak of oil prices broke, resulting in the price of energy stocks going down.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average went down by 0.3 percent or 59.44 points to close at 20,591.86, Standard & Poor’s 500 index was at 2,344.93 at the close down 8.85 points, or 0.4 percent, and Nasdaq composite at 5,836.16 losing 30.61 points, or 0.5 percent through the day.

The small caps were the worst performers during the day with Russell 2000 giving up 1.3 percent to close at 1,359.20. The market breadth was decisively negative with every two stocks falling to one rising on the NSE (New York Stock Exchange). The U.S. 10-year note reported the lowest yield which fell from 2.32 percent to 2.25 percent, lowest since November.

The global investment specialist, Terry DuFrene at J.P. Morgan Private Bank said, “That’s indicative of people, once more, taking that opinion of being risk-off, or not willing to make a bet that equity prices are going to be up because of higher earnings to be reported here for the first quarter.”

On the dollar front, President Trump has stated – “I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me.” He further elaborated saying that with other countries devaluating their currency and dollar going strong it is getting harder to compete. The analysts feel that the ‘Trump hurricane’ is back to disturb the tranquillity prevailing in the currency markets for the last few weeks.

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