By Markus Heitkoetter
Stocks ended the day mixed after trading in one of the smallest ranges of the year.
Without a whole lot of excitement in the markets, today’s reports were the highlight of the day.
April Durable Good Orders came out better than expected with Core Durable Goods Orders up 0.4% vs. a 0.3% forecast. Durable Goods Orders were even better, up 3.4% vs. a 0.3% expectation.
Pending Home Sales came in better than expected as well. Similar to Tuesday’s New Home Sales report, Pending Sales beat expectations with a 5.1% increase versus the 0.6% that was expected.
The reports were great, but we know that good news for the economy can be viewed as bad news the markets when the Fed is involved. Especially if the good news could support a rate hike decision in June.
With great economic news and a rate hike still on the table, it seemed like traders didn’t know what to do with today’s reports…ESPECIALLY ahead of the upcoming 3-day weekend. After making session highs in the first 15 minutes of the day, stocks went nowhere.
During the session, the S&P was stuck in just a 7 point range. This is the smallest range since April 15th, and the 2nd smallest range of the year!
Here’s where the major indices ended the day:
The S&P finished flat. Down less than a point, the S&P ended at 2,090.
The DOW ended 0.1% lower. Dropping 23 points, the DOW closed at 17,828.
The NASDAQ was up 0.1%. With a 7 point gain, the NASDAQ finished at 4,902.
Crude Oil (CL) traded briefly above $50 a barrel for the first time since December 1st. But CL couldn’t hold onto the $50 mark, and quickly retreated. With a 0.2% loss, CL ended at $49.44.
The question now is…
Was today’s boring session just a sign that traders are already getting ready for Memorial Day weekend?
This might be true most of the time, since the day or two before a 3-day holiday weekends are usually slow.
But there’s just ONE thing…Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak tomorrow afternoon at 1:15pm ET. And her comments MIGHT be enough to keep traders glued to their monitors tomorrow on what is typically a slow trading session.
Will Yellen delay any weekend getaway plans for traders, and spice things up tomorrow afternoon? We’ll just need to wait and see!
Tomorrow’s economic calendar brings us Preliminary GDP at 8:30am ET, Revised Consumer Sentiment at 10:00am ET, and comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen at 1:15pm ET.