The major equity indexes were little changed on Wednesday as financials fell after JPMorgan and Bank of America warned of revenue weakness, offsetting gains in defensive plays.
JPMorgan blamed lower volatility for a 15 percent decline in trading revenue in the current quarter compared with last year, while Bank of America said trading revenue in the second quarter was on track to be 10 to 12 percent lower than last year.
Financials rallied more than 20 percent in the wake of the presidential election on hopes of fiscal stimulus and deregulation under President Donald Trump, but they have struggled in recent weeks. The sector is now down 0.3 percent on the year.
Measures of market volatility are at rock-bottom, hitting trading desks at big banks. The market’s main gauge of investor anxiety closed at its lowest level in over two decades on May 8 and has not topped its long-term average of 20 since November. It did, however, hit a seven-day high of 11.30 on Wednesday.
JPMorgan lost 2.1 percent while Bank of America was down 1.9 percent as the two were largest drag on the S&P 500. Goldman Sachs fell 3.3 percent, the largest drag on the Dow.
Defensive plays such as utilities, the sector index was up 0.46 percent, and telecoms, up 0.35 percent, were the bright spots as enthusiasm fades for sectors that would benefit from Trump policies.
The energy sector index was down 0.4 percent as crude oil prices touched a three-week low as rising output from Nigeria and Libya fueled concerns that OPEC-led output cuts are being undermined. Our domestic crude settled down 2.7 percent at $48.32 a barrel and Brent settled 3 percent lower at $50.1.
Shares of Michael Kors closed down 8.5 percent to $33.18. The luxury fashion retailer gave a bleak full-year forecast and said it would shut more than 100 full-price retail stores in the next two years.
Mallinckrodt was down 1.2 percent at $43.13 after sources said the drug manufacturer is exploring a sale of its generic drug unit for as much as $2 billion.
Analog Devices rose 1.1 percent to $85.76 after the chipmaker’s quarterly results came in above expectations.
Approximately 7.85 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, a number that was above the 6.72 billion share daily average over the last 20 sessions.