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Stock Market News for Jun 21, 2024

U.S. stock ended mostly lower on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ending their winning streak, as even industry bellwether NVIDIA gave up earlier gains, while investors assessed fresh economic data and digested comments from Federal Reserve officials. However, the Dow ended in positive territory.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.8% or 299.90 points to close at 39,134.76 points, recording its third straight day of gains.

The S&P 500 slid 0.3% or 13.86 points, to end at 5,473.17 points, ending its two consecutive days of wins. The index, however, briefly crossed the 5,500 mark for the first time in history during the session’s highs. Tech stocks were the worst performers, although most of the other major sectors ended in the green.

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The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) declined 1.1%. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) gained 0.9%, while the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) added 0.5%. Eight of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 0.8% or 140.64 points to finish at 17,721.59 points, snapping its seven-day winning streak.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 6.41% to 13.28. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.03-to-1 ratio. A total of 11.98 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 13.51 billion.

NVIDIA Shares Retreat, Investors Gauge Economy’s Health

Tech stocks that have been on a rally finally snapped their winning streak on Thursday after the Juneteenth holiday. NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA), which has been at the heart of the ongoing enthusiasm surrounding AI, and had been leading the Wall Street rally, gave up its earlier gains.

Shares of NVIDIA declined 3.5% on Thursday. The chipmaker temporarily surpassed Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) on Tuesday to emerge as the most valuable public company in the United States. The company’s shares have gained 164% year to date. NVIDIA Corporation has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Meanwhile, fresh economic data again raised concerns among investors over a slowing economy. Higher-than-expected weekly jobless claims and weak housing data dented investors’ sentiment.

Investors also digested comments from Federal Reserve officials as they tried to assess the timing of the rate cut.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said that it would take more than a year to get back to the Fed’s inflation target of 2% given that wages are still increasing at a fast pace. This raised concerns that higher interest rates could stay longer.

Economic Data

The Labor Department reported that jobless claims totaled 238,000 for the week ending Jun 15, decreasing 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 243,000. The four-week moving average was 232,750, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 227,250.

Continuing claims came in at 1,828,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1,813,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,805,500 a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average of 1,795,250.

The Census Bureau said on Thursday that housing starts fell 5.5%  in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.28 million units after increasing 4.1% in April. This was also sharply lower than the consensus estimate of 1.370 million and the lowest level since July 2020.

Building permits declined 3.8% to 1.39 million from 1.440 million, which was also lower than the analysts’ expectations of a rise of 1.450 million.

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