Markets saw another relatively boring day, much like the rest of the week.
Stocks fell early in the morning, bounced up around noon, and, ultimately, finished the day mixed, but little changed.
Let’s head to the scoreboard:
- Dow: 18,438.41 (-17.94, -0.10%)
- S&P 500: 2,173.83 (+3.77, +0.17%)
- Nasdaq: 5,163.02 (+7.67, +0.15%)
- WTI Crude oil: $41.47 (+0.33, +0.80%)
- 10-year Treasury yield: 1.455 (-0.056, -3.72%)
1. The US economy grew less than expected. US GDP grew by 1.2% in the second quarter. Economists had forecast an improvement in growth from the first quarter to an annualized pace of 2.5%, according to Bloomberg.
2. Chicago PMI falls less than expected. Chicago purchasing manager’s index for July slipped to 55.8, compared to the projected drop to 54, down from the prior month’s 56.8. “On the upside, it was the first time since January 2015 that all five barometer components were above 50,” said Lorena Castellanos, a senior economist at MNI Indicators.
3. Oil rig count jumped for the 5th straight week. The US oil rig count rose by three to 374 this week. The count rose last week by 14. It has moved higher since mid-May, as rising oil prices preceding that period encouraged producers to bring rigs online.
4. Meanwhile, crude oil prices have fallen by about 20% since June. Both front-month West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent crude prices have fallen by over 20% since their respective early-June peaks of $51.23 a barrel and $52.51 a barrel. A drop of over 20% is considered to be a bear market.
5. The Bank of Japan stunned the markets with only a tiny change to policy. The bank voted to increase the amount of exchange-traded funds it buys to an annual pace of 6 trillion yen from the previous level of 3.3 trillion yen. And it left the amount of Japanese government bonds static at an annual rate of 80 trillion yen and left benchmark interest rates unchanged at -0.1%.
6. And this sent the yen through the roof. The currency was up by 3.0% at 102.08 per dollar around 3:31 p.m. ET.
7. Consumer confidence rose less than expected. The University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for July came in at 90.0. Economists were expecting the final index to rise slightly to 90.2 in July, according to the Bloomberg consensus.
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