Friday Midday Update: Investors Rush For Safety

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Stocks fell Friday as a clear-risk off day took hold of investors.

All three major U.S. indices were pressured downwards, with the S&P 500 down as much as 0.3%. The 10-Year Treasury yield fell to 0.66%. Gold rose 0.7%. Oil fell almost 3% to $32 a barrel.  

Here’s how the cyclical (economically sensitive) sectors behaved: 

  • S&P 500 Equal-Weight Consumer Discretionary Index: -1.1% 
  • Vanguard Industrials ETF: -0.7% 

Classically defensive sectors lead the day:

  • S&P 500 Equal-Weight Consumer Staples Index: +0.25%
  • iShares Healthcare ETF: Flat 
  • Dow Jones U.S. Utilities Index: Flat 

Investors are still favoring growth stocks over value, a sign they’re looking for shelter in an uncertain economic environment. Nvidia  (NVDA) - Get Report rose 2% after Thursday's earnings showed an accelerated growth trend in data center sales, which is directly tied to cloud spend which is accelerating in today's work-from-home environment. Data center revenue rose 80% year-over-year. 

Pressuring risk-off sentiment was China's withdrawal of its 2020 GDP forecast in the wake of uncertainty and worsening U.S.-China relations, which threaten potential trade agreements. Meanwhile, U.S. stocks are largely flat in almost the past month, as valuations are full.  

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