Rudd’s MarketView

Summary

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended Tuesday’s session flat after mixed economic data and retail earnings, while the Nasdaq had another record close with help from technology stocks.

Manufacturing production showed its largest increase in more than three years during April, bolstering a view that economic growth picked up early in the second quarter despite a surprise decline in homebuilding.

Investors were also cautious about potential delays to the government’s tax and regulation reform agenda after reports late Monday that President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russia’s foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation.

Home improvement chain Home Depot reported a better-than-expected first-quarter performance, but TJX, owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores, posted slowing comparable-store sales growth and a disappointing current-quarter profit forecast.

Only two of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors closed higher, with technology providing the largest boost. The sector rose 0.5 percent, with an outsized boost from Microsoft, which rose 2 percent.

Soros Fund Management disclosed late Monday that it more than tripled its stake in Microsoft, which also benefited from investors’ focus on security.

Authorities around the globe scrambled to prevent hackers from spreading the “WannaCry” ransomware that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. Cyber security researchers have found evidence they say could link the attacks to North Korea.

The S&P’s financial sector index ended the day with a 0.2-percent gain. The utilities index was the S&P’s largest decliner of the day with a 0.8-percent drop.

UnitedHealth and Pfizer were the S&P’s largest drags. Pfizer fell 1.6 percent to $32.60 after Citigroup downgraded the drug developer’s stock to “sell,” from “neutral.”

Approximately 6.4 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, compared to the 6.8 billion share average over the last 20 sessions.

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