U.S. stocks end lower after mixed economic reports

(Xinhua) 10:06, March 27, 2024

NEW YORK, March 26 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended lower on Tuesday, as market rally cooled after mixed economic reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 31.31 points, or 0.08 percent, to 39,282.33. The S&P 500 sank 14.61 points, or 0.28 percent, to 5,203.58, falling for a third consecutive session. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 68.77 points, or 0.42 percent, to 16,315.7.

Eight of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended in red, with utilities and energy leading the laggards by losing 1.14 percent and 0.76 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, health and financials led the gainers by rising 0.34 percent and 0.20 percent, respectively.

Economic data on Tuesday were mixed. Orders for durable goods, items ranging from toasters to aircraft meant to last three years or more, rose 1.4 percent last month, the Commerce Department's Census Bureau said Tuesday. This uptick was accompanied by tentative signs of recovery in business spending on equipment, contributing to a positive outlook for the economy's growth prospects in the first quarter.

However, U.S. consumer sentiment in March declined to its lowest level in three months, registering 104.7, The Conference Board reported Tuesday. This marked a reversal from three consecutive months of improvement, falling short of expectations and reaching its lowest point in three months.

The markets have already priced in an expectation of three interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve this year, but Richard Clarida, the global economic advisor at PIMCO and a former Fed vice chair, mentioned in a Tuesday note that if Federal Reserve policymakers, along with their counterparts at the European Central Bank and Bank of England, implement the rate cuts that top officials hinted at last week, they are unlikely to justify these reductions by downplaying the significance of their 2 percent inflation targets.

"It's likely these leaders at that time will not attempt to justify the policy change because they are content with '2-point-something' as a provisional inflation target," Clarida said. "Rather, we expect they will reiterate that monetary policy is already restrictive, and therefore that gradual rate cuts in tandem with declining inflation are simply a means to prevent policy from getting even more restrictive, given they project inflation should decline over time to the 2 percent long-run target."

In corporate news, Boeing Co., which recently announced significant changes in its leadership, is facing the possibility of a credit rating downgrade by Moody's Ratings due to ongoing safety concerns which impacted the company's production and revenue. Meanwhile, Reddit stock popped more than 12 percent on Tuesday and has rallied more than 30 percent since its initial public offering last Thursday. Trump Media &Technology Group, fresh from a merger with a cash-rich shell company, also surged on its first trading day. 

(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Liang Jun)


Related Stories