Stocks held in the red on Wednesday as another sharp downturn in crude oil prices spooked the energy sector.
The S&P 500 was down 0.08%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.2%. The Nasdaq hit an intraday record high shortly after opening.
Wall Street's seven-day winning streak came to an end on Tuesday in a groggy return after the long Memorial Day weekend. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq retreated from records set on Friday and ended lower for the first time in eight sessions.
Crude oil moved sharply lower again on Wednesday as prices continued to spiral over global oversupply worries. Libya's oil production is anticipated to increase to 800,000 barrels a day this year, according to the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation. Libyan output currently sits at 794,000 barrels a day. Production at the country's largest oil field recently returned to higher levels after a technical issue was resolved.
Commodities have been under pressure since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries made the expected move to extend their output cut agreement by another nine months, but failed to enact further price-stabilizing measures.
West Texas Intermediate crude was down 3.2% to $48.07 a barrel on Wednesday.
The financials sector was also lower, retreating from the highs that propelled markets forward since Donald Trump's surprise presidential election victory in November. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) rose more than 17% from the day after Trump's election through to Tuesday's close, compared to the S&P 500's nearly 13% increase. The SPDR ETF declined by 0.9% on Wednesday, while Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan (JPM) led losses on the Dow.
The U.S. jobs report on Friday is on watch in this holiday-shortened week. The nonfarm payrolls report for May is expected to demonstrate continued strength in the labor market. The U.S. economy is expected to have added 175,000 jobs in May, while the unemployment rate is forecast to hold at 4.4%, according to FactSet estimates. Hourly earnings are anticipated to have risen 0.2% in May.
Friday's jobs report likely won't sway the Federal Reserve's decision for this meeting, but could influence the pace of hikes for the rest of the year. The Federal Open Market Committee, the decision-making arm of the central bank, is next set to meet June 13-14. Markets already have high expectations for an interest-rate increase at the next meeting of the FOMC, the second of three expected hikes this year. Wall Street has priced in a nearly 89% chance of a 25-basis-point increase to the federal funds rate when the FOMC meets, according to CME Group fed funds futures.
Inflation trends have been uneven, but they are not deteriorating, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said in comments at the C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics in New York. On Tuesday, Kaplan said that the Fed can continue to raise interest rates while also reducing its balance sheet this year. Kaplan, a voting member of the FOMC, anticipates two more interest-rate hikes this year.
Economic conditions in the Chicago area deteriorated in May to their lowest level in four months. Chicago PMI declined to 55.2 in May from 58.3 in April. Analysts anticipated a slower decline to 57.5. A reading over 50 indicates expansion.
Pending home sales slid in April as tight demand hampered sales, which declined by 1.3% in April from March, according to the National Association of Realtors. Year over year, sales declined by 3.3%. Sales were expected to increase 0.5% in April.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Tuesday includes the Beige Book at 2 p.m. The Beige Book presents an anecdotal read on how the 12 Fed districts have fared over the last six weeks.
Barclays (BCS) rose 1.5% after a report from Sky News suggested the bank will announce the sale of a substantial stake in its troubled African division. The deal could raise around £1.6 billion ($2 billion) for the British lender while reducing its stake in the Johannesburg listed Barclays Africa Group (AGRPY) from 51% to around 28%, Sky reported.
Michael Kors (KORS) sank 10% after swinging to a fourth-quarter loss. A loss of $26.8 million, or 17 cents a share, compared to earnings of $177 million, or 98 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Michael Kors booked a $193.8 million impairment charge tied to weak performances from certain retail locations.
Adjusted earnings of 73 cents a share came in 3 cents higher than estimates. Revenue of $1.06 billion also beat consensus of $1.05 billion. CEO John Idol said in a statement that "fiscal 2017 was a challenging year, as we continued to operate in a difficult retail environment with elevated promotional levels." Idol also conceded that the company's "product and store experience" did not engage consumers.
The handbag and accessories retailer anticipates first-quarter earnings between 60 cents and 64 cents a share, below estimates of 79 cents.
Vera Bradley (VRA) rose 6.6% after posting a narrower-than-expected loss but sales that came in shy of estimates. An adjusted loss of 9 cents a share came in 4 cents less than what analysts anticipated. Revenue of $96.1 million fell short of estimates, though. Vera Bradley announced plans to close as many as 15 of its underperforming locations over fiscal 2018.
Tesla (TSLA) shares were on track to close at a new record on Wednesday as anticipation for the start of production of its Model 3 sedan in July increases. The stock last set its record close last Friday. Tesla will close at a new all-time high if it holds above $325.14.
Movie theater chains AMC Entertainment (AMC) and IMAX (IMAX) declined on Wednesday after the domestic box office endured its worst Memorial Day weekend since 1999. Cinemas in the U.S. and Canada amassed a total $172 million over the four days to May 29 with new debuts Baywatch and the latest installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series failing to boost ticket sales.
Meet the Millennial Media Moguls
Planning to be in New York on Tuesday, June 13? You're invited to join us for an evening of cocktails and conversation with three dynamic young CEOs whose companies have found big news audiences and good markets. How have they done it? What have they learned? Meet Chris Altchek, CEO and co-founder of Mic; Shafqat Islam, co-founder and CEO of NewsCred; and Kathryn Minshew, the CEO and co-founder of TheMuse. Our panel discussion will be led by Ken Doctor, media analyst and columnist for TheStreet. The event, from 6 to 8 p.m. is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. Please click here to RSVP and get more information.
Watch more of TheStreet's latest videos: