The S&P 500 ended a five-day winning streak on Wednesday as investors’ optimism about global economic growth was countered by a steep drop in FedEx Corp shares, but the benchmark index managed to hover near all-time highs.
FedEx shares tumbled 10 per cent after the US parcel delivery company cut its fiscal 2020 profit forecast on heavy expenses, slowing global trade and fallout from its breakup with Amazon.com.
The decline in FedEx shares weighed on the blue-chip Dow industrials. Shares of rival package delivery company United Parcel Service fell 1.9 per cent. The FedEx and UPS losses sent the Dow Jones Transport Average down 0.9 per cent.
But the Nasdaq notched a record closing high for a fifth straight session.
Even with Wednesday’s nominal losses on the S&P 500, analysts said market sentiment remained largely upbeat following last week’s announcement of an initial US-China trade agreement. Earlier in the session, the S&P 500 hit its fifth consecutive record high.
“Investors have gotten much more comfortable with the path of things that have been dark clouds over the market,” said Wayne Wicker, chief investment officer at Vantagepoint Investment Advisers in Washington.
“This is just somewhat of a pause after having such a strong run.”
The market largely shrugged off the likely impeachment of US President Donald Trump as the House of Representatives geared up for a historic vote later in the day on two charges accusing Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.
Impeachment would have little effect on the factors most influential on US markets, said Shannon Saccocia, chief investment officer at Boston Private. “It doesn’t change what the Fed does,” she said. “It doesn’t change what happens from a China perspective.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.88 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 28,239.28, the S&P 500 lost 1.38 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 3,191.14, and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.38 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 8,827.74.
The small-cap Russell 2000 hit its highest level in 14 months and ended 0.25 per cent higher.
Facebook Inc shares rose 2.1 per cent, providing the biggest boost to the S&P 500, as Deutsche Bank raised its price target on the stock.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.55-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.03-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 40 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 166 new highs and 59 new lows.
Volume on US exchanges was 7.72 billion shares, compared to the 6.95 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
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