Markets fluctuated today but ended with a slight gain for the SPX, a 0.5% increase for Nasdaq and a 0.2% drop for the Dow. The increased volatility was reflected in what may be the largest increase in the VIX since January. The VIX, also known as a fear gauge, measures the expected swings in the SPX. Tomorrow is a day for the expiration of options and this may also have contributed to the choppiness.
Investors appear to be worried about the Fed stopping its asset purchases and therefore reducing liquidity at the same time as the spread of COVID infections continues at a pace that may result in restrictions and lockdowns and therefore slow the economy. Deaths in the US are the highest in 6 months.
Initial jobless claims for the week of August 14 hit a pandemic low 348,000. The estimate was 365,000 and the previous week was 375,000. Claims, which are a proxy for layoffs, have fallen four consecutive weeks and are now only half as high as in January. The pre-pandemic average, however, is around 250,000.
Continuing claims, which reflect the number of people receiving benefits, fell to 2.8 million, from 2.87 million the week before. This value was also the lowest since March 2020.
The Conference Board reported that its Leading Economic Indicator Index increased by 0.9% in July to 116.0 after a 0.5% increase in June and 1.2% increase in May. The estimate was 0.7%. All components of the index were positive and this suggests strong economic growth in the second half of the year. They project GPD growth of 6.0% for 2021 and 4.0% for 2022. The Conicident Economic Indicators increased by 0.6% in July to 105.6 after a 0.4% increase in June and 0.1% in May.
The SP 500 is up by 0.13% to close at 4405.80. The index is down 1.23% over five days, up 0.88% over one month, up 5.93% over three months and up 30.14% over one year.
The trailing P/E is 31.31 compared to 35.39 one year ago and estimated future P/E 22.29. Dividend yield is currently 1.32 compared with 1.81 one year ago.
Leading stocks were BBWI up 10.49%, SNPS up 8.73%, NFLX up 4.18%, CBOE up 4.09% and NVDA up 3.98%.
Trailing stocks were ILMN down 7.88%, MRNA down 5.84%, OXY down 5.80%, CF down 5.31% and BKR down 4.67%.
The Dow Jones industrial Average is down by 0.19% to close at 34894.12. The DOW is down 1.71% over five days, up 0.20% over one month, up 2.38% over three months and up 25.79% over one year.
The trailing P/E is 23.51 compared with 27.66 year ago and an estimated future P/E of 19.50. The current dividend yield is 1.80% compared with 2.26 one year ago.
Leading stocks were CSCO up 3.84%, UNH up 2.53%, MSFT down 2.08%, PG up 1.18% and MRK up 0.86%.
Trailing stocks were BA down 3.12%, CAT down 2.55%, CVX down 2.49%, DOW down 2.15%, and WBA down 2.04%.
The NASDAQ composite is up by 0.11% and closed at 14541.79. NASDAQ is down 1.85% over five days, down 0.97% over one month, up 7.43% over 3 months and up 29.09% over one year.
Leading stocks were SONN up 63.74%, SNOA up 50.65%, DLO up 26.68%, CLEU up 22.71% and ENSC up 22.36%.
Trailing stocks were PMCB down 64.85%, OTRK down 44.51%, OLB down 37.82%, ATIF down 34.58%, and ATNF down 34.58%.
The MidCap SP400 is down by 0.89% to close at 2644.71. The SP400 is down 3.39% for the past 5 days, down 0.19% for the past month, down 1.45% for the past 3 months and up 38.08% over the past year.
Leading stocks were KSS up 7.29%, JWN up 4.05% and LITE up 4.03%.
Trailing stocks were CLF down 7.47%, X down 7.20% and CNK down 5.56%
The SmallCap SP600 is down by 0.94% to close at 1300.54. The SP600 is down 4.33% for the past 5 days, up 0.66% for the past month, down 2.78% for the past 3 months and up 44.39% over the past year.
Leading stocks were M up 19.29%, IVC up 7.60% and SPOK up 7.24%.
Trailing stocks were RRGB down 16.40%, RGNX down 8.52% and PBF down 7.69%.
The CBOE VIX is up by 0.46% and closed at 21.67. The VIX is up 39.00% over five days, up 22.50% over one month, up 4.84% over three months and down 4.62% over one year.
On the New York stock exchange 968 stocks advanced and 2351 declined, while on Nasdaq 1289 advanced and 3132 declined.
There were 47 new 52 week highs and 118 new 52 week lows on NYSE with 46 new highs and 292 new lows on NASDAQ.
The 2 year Treasury note yield is 0.218% and 10 year is 1.246%. The 10 year yield is down 11.6% over five days, down 3.4% over one month, down 37.8% three months ago, and up 59.4% one year ago.
SP500 Sector Performance % change
Information Technology +0.99
Real Estate +0.93
Consumer Staples +0.85
Health Care +0.49
Communication Services +0.13
Consumer Discretionary -0.62
Information Technology has been down 0.31% over five days, up 0.40% over one month, up 12.31% over three months and up 31.82% over one year.
Energy has been down 8.77% over five days, down 6.99% over one month, down 11.87% over three months and up 26.50% over one year.