The US stock market finished session lower on Tuesday, 17 November 2020, as investors elected to book profit one day after reaching new record highs. Meanwhile, negative sentiment was also generated in reaction to weaker than expected retail sales data.
At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index dropped 167.09 points, or 0.56%, to 29,783.35. The S&P 500 index fell 17.38 points, or 0.48%, to 3,609.53. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index declined 24.79 points, or 0.21%, to 11,899.34.
US stocks closed lower as investors paused amid the impact of Moderna's potential coronavirus vaccine announcement and concerns about the economy. Stocks soared Monday after early results from Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine trial indicated its vaccine is highly effective, giving investors plenty of opportunity to take some profits. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at all-time highs
Negative sentiment was also generated in reaction to a report from the Commerce Department showing retail sales rose by less than expected in the month of October. The report said retail sales rose by 0.3% in October after jumping by a downwardly revised 1.6% in September.
Utilities stocks moved sharply lower on profit booking after ending the previous session at its best closing level in over eight months. Considerable weakness was also visible among gold stocks amid a modest decrease by the price of the precious metal. Meanwhile, natural gas stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day.
ECONOMIC NEWS: US NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Surges To New Record High In November - US homebuilder confidence jumped to another new record high in the month of November, the National Association of Home Builders revealed in a report released on Tuesday.
The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index climbed to 90 in November from 85 in October. The unexpected increase by the housing market index came as all three of the HMI indices reached new record highs. The index gauging current sales conditions climbed to 96 in November from 90 in October, while the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers rose to 77 from 74 and the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months inched up to 89 from 88.
US Import Prices Slide 0.1% In October- US import prices slipped by 0.1% in October after rising by a downwardly revised 0.2% in September, the Labor Department reported on Tuesday. The unexpected drop in import prices came as prices for fuel imports tumbled by 1.9% in October after plunging by 5.2% in September. The continued decline reflected lower prices for both natural gas and petroleum. Prices for non-fuel imports inched up by 0.1% in October after rising by 0.5% in September, as higher prices for non-fuel industrial supplies and materials and foods, feeds, and beverages more than offset falling prices for consumer goods and automotive vehicles.
US Industrial Production Jumps 1.1% In October- US industrial production jumped by 1.1% in October after falling by a revised 0.4% in September, a report released by the Federal Reserve showed. The rebound in production came as manufacturing output shot up by 1.0% in October after inching up by 0.1% in September. The report also showed utilities output spiked by 3.9% in October after plunging by 5.2% in the previous month. On the other hand, the Fed said mining output fell by 0.6% in October following a 1.2% jump in September. The Fed noted industrial production has recovered much of its 16.5% decline from February to April, but output in October was still 5.6% lower than its pre-pandemic February level.
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