A holiday-shortened week got off to choppy start on Tuesday, with the major averages finishing the session with a mixed performance. The Nasdaq managed to carry slight gains into the close, securing its seventh consecutive day in the green. The Dow and S&P 500 ended lower, each breaking four-session winning streaks.
The Nasdaq Composite (COMP.IND) closed +0.1%, the S&P 500 (SP500) finished -0.2% and the Dow (DJI) ended -1.1%. Earnings-related drops in Goldman Sachs (GS) and Travelers (TRV) weighed on the blue-chip average.
Looking at the closing numbers, the Dow Jones slumped 391.76 points to finish at 33,910.85. The S&P 500 reached 4,015 early in the day — its high-water mark since mid-December. However, the index eventually ended at 3,990.97, a decline of 8.12 points. The Nasdaq eked out a gain of 15.96 points to conclude trading at 11,095.11.
Six of the 11 S&P sectors ended the day lower. Materials dropped by 1.1%. However, none of the other market segments moved more than 1% in either direction. Info Tech was the best performing group, recording a modest advance.
“Stocks, bonds, and commodities were mostly lower after the long holiday weekend. The VIX has dropped below the 20 level, which could be a bargain in the current environment,” analyst Andrew Hecht told Seeking Alpha.
“Goldman Sachs’ earnings were ugly, and Disney’s new leader faces the potential of an activist on its board. It is not a time for complacency in markets that could be in the eye of a volatile storm,” he added.
After the stock market was closed on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Day holiday, there were pockets of strength in the early going. The release of weak quarterly results from GS and a negative preannouncement from TRV weighed on the Dow from the outset. However, the S&P 500 ticked above 4,000 during the early session before suffering a pullback later.