The Dow Jones Industrial Average made a swift move lower to snap a record-breaking streak after tensions with North Korea escalated.
The Dow tumbled 0.15% in the final hour on Tuesday, Aug. 8, fleeing from an intraday record set earlier and breaking a nine-day streak of closing at all-time highs. The Dow had been on track for its 10th record close in a row earlier in the session.
The S&P 500 fell 0.24%, retreating from its record close set a day earlier. The Nasdaq slid 0.21%.
President Donald Trump struck a defiant stance against North Korea, warning of severe retribution should the authoritarian state proceed with any more missile tests or threats.
In a statement delivered at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, Trump said, "North Korea best not make any more threats to the US. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
His comments follow on from reports that the country had successfully produced a nuclear warhead that could be fitted inside its missiles. The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted on Saturday to impose new sanctions on North Korea after several missile tests.
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 Inc. (AAPL) , 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%.
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, a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio, moved 0.8% higher. 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.
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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 13% 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.
Dean Foods Co. (DF) stumbled 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 6% 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.
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.
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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