Benchmarks ended the first trading day of the week in the red, dragged down by declines in technology stocks. Drop in airline stocks also weighed on the broader markets. The lack of progress related to Greece’s debt deal with its creditors also dented investor sentiment. Meanwhile, Friday’s upbeat jobs data continued to intensify concerns about rate hike as early as September. Monday’s slump resulted in the Dow turning negative for the year.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.5% to close at 17,766.55. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) decreased 0.7% to 2,079.28. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,021.63; declining 0.9%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) surged 7.6% to settle at 15.29. A total of about 5.5 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than this month’s average of 6.1 billion. Decliners outpaced advancing stocks on the NYSE. For 68% stocks that declined, 29% advanced.
High-beta stocks of chipmakers including Intel Corporation (INTC – Analyst Report) dropped 1.7%, while the broader PHLX Semiconductor Index fell 1.9%. Intel declined the most among the Dow components. Another Dow component International Business Machines Corporation (IBM – Analyst Report) declined 1.2%.
The Technology SPDR ETF (XLK) dropped 1.1%, the biggest loser among the S&P 500 sectors. Key technology stocks including Apple Inc. (AAPL – Analyst Report), Microsoft Corporation (MSFT – Analyst Report) and Google Inc (GOOGL – Analyst Report) decreased 0.7%, 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively.
Decline in high-beta transportation stocks also weighed on the broader markets. The Dow Jones Transportation Average fell 2.1%, with JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU – Analyst Report) declining the most among its 20 components. Shares of JetBlue Airways plunged 7.2%. Other airline stocks including American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL – Analyst Report), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL – Analyst Report) and Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV – Analyst Report) decreased 4.5%, 5% and 2.9%, respectively.
Separately, the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) declined 0.8% and was the second biggest loser among the S&P 500 sectors. Key holdings including KB Home (KBH – Analyst Report), Beazer Homes USA Inc. (BZH – Snapshot Report), Ryland Group Inc. (RYL – Snapshot Report), Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL) and The Home Depot, Inc. (HD) decreased 0.9%, 1.8%, 0.7%, 0.9% and 0.4%, respectively. Overall, all 10 sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the red.
Monday’s slump came in after upbeat jobs data released last Friday raised concerns about rate hike happening as early as this fall. U.S. economy had created a total of 280,000 jobs in May, the biggest job additions since Dec 2014. Separately, large inflow of people in the labor force resulted in slight uptick in unemployment rate.
Investors are keeping an eye on economic data for clues on when the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates. This week’s economic data includes retail sales report for May and producer price index for last month.
Lingering uncertainty over striking a deal between Greece and its creditors also dampened sentiment on Monday. Greek and European officials met on Monday, but there was little progress over the country’s bailout program which is about to expire by the end of this month. Greece had delayed its debt payments of 303.3 million euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was due last Friday. Instead, the IMF chief spokesman Gerry Rice said that Greece “plan to bundle the country’s four June payments into one, which is now due on June 30”.
Meanwhile, Greece’s creditors have offered to extend Greece’s bailout program until the end of Mar 2016. This will be in return for conditions like pension cuts, tax increases and other policies to be implemented by Athens.
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