Stocks End Lower For Fourth Straight Day Ahead Of FOMC July Minutes

Michael Teague  |

Stocks ended lower on Monday with indices extending losses to four consecutive days for the first time in 2013. Investors are bracing themselves for a week of significant economic data, including a highly anticipated announcement from the FOMC that many on Wall Street are expecting to contain an official announcement about the beginning of the Federal Reserve’s phased withdrawal from the bond market.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at a deficit of 0.59 percent to 1,646 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 0.47 percent lower at 15,010.74 points, and the NASDAQ ended at 3,589.09, down 0.38 percent.

Wednesday will see the release of data on existing home sales, with economists expecting a modest increase in the area of 0.4 percent. The same day, the minutes of the monthly Federal Open Market Committee meeting will be released, with investors hungry for some guidance on the future of the Central Bank’s drawing-down of asset purchases.

Thursday will see the release of initial jobless claim figures, as well as the Kansas City Fed’s survey of regional economic expansion. Friday will provide information about new home sales for the month of July.

As usual, scrutiny of and concern over the contents of Wednesday’s FOMC minutes from the prior-months’ meeting are already dominating the landscape for equities, as investors spent a fourth straight day taking profits.

On the S&P 500, basic materials stocks were hit the worst as a result of news about lower natural gas prices that could negatively affect producers throughout the year. Marathon Oil (MRO) , Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) , and Apache Corp. (APA) all ended the day almost 5 percent lower.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) ended the day 2.75 percent lower on heavy volume after news that the bank was accused by the SEC of bribing the children of Chinese officials in an attempt to curry favor with the country’s state-run industries. Last week, the SEC said that it would seek to force the bank to admit to wrong-doing in last year’s London Whale scandal.

JPMorgan’s loss also put pressure on the Dow, all of whose components ended the day in the red, with the most significant losses for Alcoa ($AA) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) .

On the NASDAQ, biotech firm GTx Inc. (GTXI) dropped over 65 percent to $1.43 per share on news that the company’s tests of a highly anticipated anti-muscle loss drug enobosarm missed on all primary endpoint goals.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) ended the day over one percent higher to $507.74, as the company’s executives moved forward on long-standing plans to sell a significant number of their own shares, while Carl Icahn’s recent $1.5 billion stake was replicated by other hedge-funds and investors.

Otherwise, tech shares were a drag on the exchange, with Microsoft (MSFT) , BlackBerry (BBRY) , and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) among others ending the day lower on heavy trading.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer.

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
AA Alcoa Corporation 20.65 0.00 0.00 2,535,426 Trade
MRO Marathon Oil Corporation 12.61 0.02 0.16 7,988,428 Trade
GTXI ONCT GTx Inc. n/a n/a n/a n/a
APA Apache Corporation 21.28 0.35 1.67 4,714,719 Trade
HPQ HP Inc. 20.07 -0.13 -0.64 15,139,510 Trade
YHOO Yahoo! Inc. n/a n/a n/a n/a Trade
CLF Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. 8.83 0.28 3.27 13,701,702 Trade
BBRY BB BlackBerry Limited n/a n/a n/a n/a
MSFT Microsoft Corporation 151.70 0.57 0.38 18,856,584 Trade
ANPDY ANTA Sports Products Limited ADR 232.10 5.75 2.54 468
JPM JP Morgan Chase & Co. 134.18 -0.32 -0.24 9,011,840 Trade

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Watchlist

Symbol Last Price Change % Change
AAPL

     
AMZN

     
HD

     
JPM

     
IBM

     
BA

     
WMT

     
DIS

     
GOOG

     
XOM

     
BRK.A

     
FB

     
JNJ

     
WFC

     
T

     
NFLX

     
TSLA

     
V

     
UNH

     
PG

     

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