It’s days like this where the major US equity exchanges should take a page out of the fixed income market playbook and just stay closed on bank holidays. It’s bad enough that stock traders all have to work while their fixed income counterparts enjoy the three-day weekend, but to come into the office for this? Thanks a lot! Looking at the chart of the S&P 500 following today’s decline, it is now back below its downward sloping 200-DMA and has erased more than all of its post-election rally from last Wednesday. Big rallies followed by even bigger more drawn out declines is not something you would normally associate with bull market behavior.
While the moves of the market over the last couple of days are not particularly encouraging, it is interesting to see that of the S&P 500’s 60+ industries, just as many are hitting 52-week highs today as are hitting 52-week lows. On the upside, Food & Staples Retail and Power & Renewable Electricity both hit 52-week highs earlier today. Food & Staples Retail is made up of names like Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), and CVS, while some of the larger components in the latter group include NRG and AES. While Food & Staples Retail is a relatively large group accounting for about 2% of the S&P 500, Power & Renewable Energy is puny.
On the downside, the two groups hitting 52-week lows today are Energy Equipment & Services, which is made up of names like Schlumberger (SLB), Baker Hughes (BHGE), and Halliburton (HAL), and Industrial Conglomerates. When you think of Industrial Conglomerates, General Electric (GE) is usually the first name that comes to mind, but given its declines over the last two years, it is now actually a smaller percentage of the index than 3M and Honeywell (HON).