[Thursday, November 29, 2018]
Coming off the market’s best session in 8 months, stocks were lower for the first time in 4 days. Given the magnitude of yesterday’s move it was not unexpected that participants would lock in some gains. Trade continues to weigh on sentiment and among the day’s economic data Pending Home Sales were a disappointment, down -2.6% vs +0.3% estimate. That makes 10 straight months of declines and underscores the weakness in housing, expecting more pain if rates rise as it increases the cost of ownership. Despite a brief move into positive territory with an hour left in the session stocks drifted lower into the close. At the bell the S&P 500 was off -6.03 to 2,737.76, the Dow dropped -27.59 to 25,338.84 and the Nasdaq Composite fell -18.51 to 7,273.08. The Russell 2000 continued to be weak, slipping -5.00 to 1,525.39. Sectors were mixed, led by Energy and Materials while Technology and Financials lagged. Crude prices were volatile, at one point dipping below $50 per barrel for the first time in a year, but managed to settle up nearly +2% Gold was unchanged. The 10-Year Bond Yield slipped a bp to 3.04% Volatility edged up to 18.79 in the VIX.