Updated from 2:11 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Aug. 8.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's record-making streak came under threat in the final hour of trading on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
The Dow was down 0.04% after hitting a new intraday record of 22,179.11. The Dow had previously been on track to close at a record for the 10th session in a row. The S&P 500 fell 0.05%, retreating from its record close set a day earlier. The Nasdaq gained 0.15%.
The Dow ended Monday, Aug. 7, with tiny gains that still pushed it to its ninth closing record in a row. The Dow was up 0.12%, securing a new record close of 22,118 on Monday. Like Monday, any gain on Tuesday will push the blue-chip index to records, potentially for the 10th day in a row.
At the beginning of its record run, the Dow managed to secure new records on the back of positive earnings from the likes of Apple, Boeing Co. (BA) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) . Small gains and general upward momentum have kept the record-breaking streak alive since then but with little energy.
"Beyond the double-digit gains in stocks this year and all of the all-time highs (29 for the S&P 500 Index already this year), perhaps the biggest story for the S&P 500 in 2017 is the absence of pullbacks," said Burt White, chief investment officer for LPL Financial. White noted that it has been 187 days since the S&P 500 has seen a pullback of 3% and 279 days since one as steep as 5%. He warned that changes in central bank policy, developments in Washington, and rising geopolitical tensions could snap this streak.
Investors don't need to peg the exact top of the bull market, wrote James "Rev Shark" Deporre over on our premium site for investors, Real Money. "You don't need to be some genius market timer," he said. "You simply cut losses before they grow." Get his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Monday's gains marked the 35th time the Dow has ended at a records so far in 2017, a streak not seen since the 38 record closes in 2014. August looks like another month in the green for the Dow, its fifth monthly gain in a row and its ninth in the past 12 months.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) moved more than 1% higher for its second day in a row and rose for its third. Stocks have recovered from a sharp selloff beginning on June 9 and stretching through the month and early July. The tech sector in general had been under pressure during that period, pulling back after contributing a major chunk of gains to the S&P 500 in the year to date. Apple has risen more than 38% in the year to date, far outpacing the Dow's 12% rise and the S&P 500's nearly 11% increase.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS) led gains in the consumer discretionary sector after posting a narrower decline in earnings and same-store sales than expected. First-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share fell by 3 cents from the year-ago quarter, though came in higher than an estimate 62 cents. Revenue declined 3.6% to $952.4 million, exceeding consensus of $918.7 million. Same-store sales dropped 5.9%, narrower than projections of a 9.2% fall.
For the second quarter, Michael Kors anticipates earnings between 80 cents and 84 cents a share on sales of at least $1.035 billion. Analysts anticipated earnings of 78 cents a share on sales of $1.01 billion. The company targets same-store sales to drop in the "mid-single digits" compared to consensus of an 8.7% decline.
Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) increased 12% after swinging to a net profit from a year earlier. The fashion brand earned 72 cents a share over its fiscal first quarter compared to a loss of 27 cents a year earlier. Adjusted earnings of $1.11 a share came in higher than consensus of 95 cents a share. Revenue slid 13% to $1.3 billion, though matched estimates. Ralph Lauren anticipates a second-quarter decline of 9% to 10% and an 8% to 9% drop for the full year.
Other cyclical consumer stocks in the green included Carnival Corp. (CCL) , TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) , Target Corp. (TGT) , and DISH Network Corp. (DISH) . The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) increased 0.3%.
Dean Foods Co. (DF) stumbled 20% Tuesday after an earnings miss. Net income fell to 19 cents a share from 36 cents in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings of 21 cents a share fell short of consensus by a dime. Revenue of $1.93 billion came in below estimates of $1.94 billion. CEO Ralph Scozzfava said the company "faced a challenging and rapidly evolving retail environment" over the quarter, including volume pressure from a "macro and competitive perspective." The company anticipates these challenges to continue through the rest of the year.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (SEAS) tanked 7% as the theme-park operator struggled with attendance in the continued fallout of public criticism over its treatment of orcas. Attendance has fallen by 353,000 over the first six months of the year compared with the first half of 2016. Domestic and international attendance at its Orlando and San Diego parks on advertising cuts and "public perception issues."
CBS Corp. (CBS) moved almost 2% higher after quarterly revenue came in stronger than anticipated. The media network reported just over 9% sales growth to $3.26 billion in a quarter with content such as the NCAA basketball tournament. An eagerly awaited "Twin Peaks" reboot also boosted over-the-top subscriptions. Analysts anticipated sales of $3.1 billion. Adjusted earnings of 97 cents a share were in line with consensus.
Shares of Avis Budget Group Inc. (CAR) were down almost 10% on Tuesday after the company's second-quarter earnings and sales came in below Wall Street forecasts. Adjusted for one-time items, Avis said it earned 30 cents a share in the quarter, well shy of forecasts that called for profit of 52 cents. For the full year, Avis said it now sees earnings of $2.40 to $2.85 a share, largely below analysts' estimates of $2.85. Rival Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ) , which reports its earnings on Tuesday, fell 1.6%.
Around 87% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings so far. Of those, 73.2% have exceeded earnings estimates, while 69% have topped sales consensus, according to Thomson Reuters.
Financials stocks were among the best performers on Tuesday, largely driven by the big banks. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) hit an all-time intraday record, while Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) , Goldman Sachs Group (GS) , Morgan Stanley (MS) , and Citigroup Inc. (C) increased. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) gained 0.9%.
Job openings rose to new records in June as hiring declined. The number of job openings in June increased to 6.16 million, according to the Labor Department, up from 5.7 million in May. Economists anticipated a dip to 5.6 million. The diverging trends indicate employers are having a somewhat difficult time finding the right employees to fill open positions.
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