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Stock Market News for Apr 10, 2024

Wall Street closed mixed on Tuesday, dragged down by financial stocks. Investor mood was cautious ahead of Wednesday’s inflation report and the impending first-quarter earnings season. Two of the major stock indexes ended in the green, while one ended in the red.

How Did the Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 9.13 points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 38,883.67. Twenty one components of the 30-stock index ended in positive territory, while nine ended in negative.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 52.68 points, or 0.3%, to close at 16,306.64.

The S&P 500 advanced 7.52 points, or 0.1%, to close at 5,209.91. Nine of the 11 broad sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green. The Real Estate Select Sector SPDR (XLRE), the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) increased 1.3%, 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively, while the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) slid 0.6%.

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The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 1.4% to 14.98. A total of 10.3 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, the same as the last 20-session average. Advancers outnumbered decliners by a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. On the Nasdaq, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by a 1.33-to-1 ratio.

Investors Cautiously Approach Earnings Season

Over the past few weeks, investors have eagerly awaited signals from Fed officials about when the rate cuts would start. While earlier, there was a widespread consensus about a first rate cut in June, warmer-than-expected inflation numbers in 2024 have ensured that Fed officials are not yet committing to it.

Hence, market participants are eagerly awaiting consumer price index numbers from March, to gauge the direction the central bank will be taking the economy toward. If the numbers come in line with expectations, talks about a June rate cut would again come to the forefront. However, if the inflation metric continues to rise, rate cuts might get delayed further.

Investors are also keeping a keen eye on the first-quarter earnings numbers scheduled to start on Friday. Traditionally, big banks open up the season, and a cautious approach from investors resulted in the financial sector weighing on the markets in an otherwise low-movement session. The biggest falls were witnessed by the banking behemoths slated to report on the opening day of the earnings season.

Consequently, shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM and Wells Fargo & Company WFC fell 0.7% and 0.4%, respectively. Each currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Economic Data

The National Federation of Independent Business reported that its Small Business Optimism index dropped 0.9 points to 88.5 in March. This was the index’s lowest level since December 2012 and the 27th straight month it remained below the 50-year average.

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