STOCKS ERASE GAINS, END FLAT: Here's what you need to know

Stocks were little changed on Thursday as surging healthcare companies that got a boost from the much-anticipated GOP Senate healthcare bill were offset by losses in consumer staples and financials.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were almost completely flat, while the Nasdaq eked out a less than 0.1% increase. All three indexes moved higher earlier in the day before erasing gains in the last hour of trading.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 21,403.71, -6.32, (-0.03%)
  • S&P 500: 2,434.85, -0.74, (-0.03%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,237.02, +3.16, (+0.05%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.153%, -0.002
  • WTI crude oil: $US42.75, +0.22, +0.52%

1. The next big stock market shift could come from an unexpected source: retirees. They’re going to lead a recovery in value stocks that are currently inexpensive relative to history, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

2. The safety net of the stock bull market is vanishing — but it may not matter. Share buybacks declined in the first quarter, raising questions about their sustainability. But earnings growth is surging, and could offset any negative effects.

3. Wall Street has been brutally wrong when it comes to making one of its most important predictions: the 10-year yield. Heading into the second quarter, Wall Street was expecting the benchmark yield to rise to 2.90% over the next 12 months. After hitting a high of 2.64%, yields have been drifting lower ever since.

4. One striking chart shows traders don’t believe the Fed. Usually the maturity that’s the most responsive to moves in the official federal funds rate, two-year notes have done next to nothing.

5. Qatar Airways wants to buy a 10% stake in American Airlines. The airline received an unsolicited notice from Qatar Airways stating its intention to make a “significant investment.”

6. Altice USA opens up 5% in the second biggest IPO of the year. The $US1.9 billion was the most raised by a telecom IPO in 20 years. After the IPO, Altice will have a market cap of about $US22 billion.


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