The major domestic equity indexes were mixed on Wednesday as the Street absorbed President Donald Trump’s abrupt dismissal of his FBI chief as well as corporate earnings from Walt Disney and Nvidia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost ground, while the Nasdaq closed at a record high.
Trump said he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey over his handling of an email scandal involving then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. However, Comey had also been leading an investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia.
Wall Street viewed the turmoil in Washington as the latest of several distractions from Trump’s promises to cut taxes and boost spending on infrastructure. The stock market has surged to record highs under Trump due to expectations he will stimulate the economy and boost corporate earnings.
With first-quarter earnings season nearly over, investors are looking toward April retail sales data, due out on Friday, for new clues about the economy’s health.
After the bell, Snap fell 18 percent as the Snapchat-owner’s first quarterly report disappointed investors.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors rose during the session, with the energy sector up 1.06 percent, helped by a 3.5-percent rise in oil prices. The consumer discretionary index lost 0.28 percent and the industrial index was down 0.39 percent.
Fueling the Nasdaq’s record high, Nvidia rose17.83 percent after the companyr reported a better-than-expected increase in quarterly revenue. Shares of rival AMD were up 5.99 percent.
Disney fell 2.15 percent and was the worst drag on the Dow after the media company reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and a decline in the number of ESPN subscribers.
Allergan fell 3.69 percent after the Botox-maker posted a quarterly loss as it took a write down on the value of its stake in Teva Pharmaceutical.
Priceline closed down 4.54 percent after the travel website operator forecast current-quarter earnings below analysts’ expectations.
Approximately 6.7 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, in line with the daily average over the last 20 sessions.
Budget Surplus in April
The Uncle Sam had a $182 billion budget surplus in April, confounding market expectations for a deficit, according to Treasury Department data released on Wednesday.
The budget surplus was $106 billion in April 2016, according to Treasury’s monthly budget statement.
The fiscal 2017 year-to-date deficit was $344 billion compared with $353 billion in the same period of fiscal 2016.
When accounting for calendar adjustments, the surplus last month was $145 billion compared with an adjusted surplus of $146 billion the prior year. The adjusted deficit for the fiscal year to date was $373 billion compared with $314 billion the prior fiscal year period.
Receipts last month totaled $456 billion, up 4 percent from April 2016, while outlays stood at $273 billion, a decrease of 18 percent from the same month a year earlier.
Fed Member Says Keep Dodd-Frank
Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said on Wednesday that there should not be any relaxation of regulations that have tightened oversight of Wall Street.
“Progress has been made. I wouldn’t want to roll that back off the biggest banks,” Kashkari said at an event in Minneapolis, when asked about the fate of the Dodd-Frank reform act that was passed in part to prevent big banks from causing a repeat of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
“I do want to roll back some of that … off of the little banks that are not systemically risky for the country that are being caught up in the same regulatory net,” he added.
Last year, Kashkari proposed forcing banks to hold much more capital in order to make them safer and avoid taxpayer bailouts in the event of another financial crisis.
So far, his plan has gained few backers, despite his giving speech after speech defending and explaining it. The Trump administration has instead signaled its intent to roll back at least parts of Dodd-Frank.