May 16, 2021

Stocks & Bonds: Stocks Off Slightly in Sixth Straight Decline

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 21.87 points, or 0.18 percent, to 12,048.94, while the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index lost 5.38 points, or 0.42 percent, to 1,279.56. The Nasdaq composite index fell 26.18 points, or 0.97 percent, to 2,675.38.

The S. P. was off about 5.7 percent from its 2011 intraday high hit on May 2. Stocks have come under pressure recently because of several weak economic reports, especially the labor market.

The weakness was highlighted by Mr. Bernanke’s comments late Tuesday. He acknowledged that the recovery has slowed, but offered no hint that the Fed was considering any more stimulus to accelerate growth.

“Investors are repricing the slowdown after Bernanke crystallized it,” said Jason L. Ware, senior equity research and trading analyst at the Albion Financial Group in Salt Lake City. “The market was hoping for an indication that there may be another round of stimulus, but clearly that’s not what they got.”

The Fed’s $600 billion second round of stimulus, expected to end this month, had been a catalyst for the stock market’s advance.

Stocks in the health care and utility sectors rose, but financials and technology, sectors closely related to growth, kept up their losing streak.

“I think 1,250 is a key level and, if we get there, likely to provide support for the market, barring any further erosion in the underlying economic data,” Mr. Ware said, referring to the S. P. 500.

There were also signs of weakness from corporate America. Ciena, the communications networking equipment provider, forecast third-quarter revenue below expectations, driving down its stock and others in the sector.

Ciena fell 16.2 percent, to $20.29, while JDS Uniphase dropped 5.5 percent, to $17.40.

Limiting losses, the energy sector rose after talks at OPEC in Vienna broke down without an agreement on a production increase. The S. P. 500 energy index rose 0.5 percent, and Exxon Mobil, which said it discovered two vast oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, was up nearly 1 percent at $80.76.

Crude oil futures rose 1.7 percent to settle above $100 a barrel, at $100.74.

The Treasury’s 10-year note rose 14/32, to 101 17/32. The yield fell to 2.95 percent, from 3.00 percent late Tuesday.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=195cb86ecd1f2fd41589d803e8722949

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