The S&P 500 and the Dow ended Tuesday's session flat after mixed economic data and retail earnings news caused investors to pause, while the technology-focused Nasdaq had another record close.
By Paolo Palazzi-Xirinachs
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The Nasdaq added 20.20 points, or 0.33 percent, to 6,169.87, a new record close for the index. Meanwhile the Dow Jones Industrial closed down 2.19 points, or 0.01 percent, to 20,979.75, and the S&P 500 lost 1.65 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,400.67, easing from an intraday record high of 2,405.77.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.24-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favored decliners. About 6.4 billion shares changed hands on US. exchanges compared with the 6.8 billion average for the last 20 sessions.
Only two of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors closed higher, with technology providing the biggest boost. The sector rose 0.5 percent, with an outsized boost from Microsoft which rose 2 percent.
In other financial news, US manufacturing production showed its biggest increase in more than three years in April, bolstering a view that economic growth picked up early in the second quarter despite a surprise decline in home building.
Investors were also cautious about potential delays to the government's tax and regulation reform agenda after reports late Monday that President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russia's foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation. The mood on Wall Street seems to be a combination of earnings and better-than-expected industrial production, countered with concerns about future economic data and the fact we continue to see weak retail sales. With the consumer being more than two-thirds of economic growth, if consumer spending is weak, how long can the US economy see solid economic growth?
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