Published June 24, 2014
FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
A selloff in the energy sector pulled U.S. equity markets deep into the red on Tuesday despite upbeat economic data.
As of 3:18 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 115 points, or 0.68%, to 16822, the S&P 500 dipped 11.1 points, or 0.57%, to 1952 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 13.6 points, or 0.31%, to 4355.
Wall Street is crawling away from the record highs it notched last week. The shift lower has been more of a meandering motion than a decisive move -- leaving all-time highs within easy reach. However, the pace of the decline sped up on Tuesday.
The energy sector was by far the worst performer, followed by industrials and financials. Only the safe-haven utilities and health-care sectors were in the green.
The data was is fairly heavy on the day.
The Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes hit the highest level since May 2008, soaring 18.6% in May to an annualized rate of 504,000 units, beating analyst estimates for 440,000 units, and marking the biggest increase since January 1992.
Meanwhile, home prices in 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas rose 1.1% in April from March on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, more than the 0.8% economists expected, according to a closely-watched gauge from S&P/Case-Shiller. From the same period in 2013, prices rose 10.8%, a shallower increase than the 11.6% gain Wall Street was looking for.
The gauge is a lagging indicator, but it is closely watched because it provides a crisp picture of the housing market.
The Conference Board’s gauge of consumer confidence rose to 85.2 in June from a reading of 82.2 the month prior, beating Wall Street estimates for an increase to 83.5.
On the corporate front, Micron (MU) revealed better-than-expected quarterly profits on the back of a pick-up in PC demand. The maker of memory chips is seen as a bellwether in the chip space.
Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures rose 83 cents, or 0.78%, to $107.26 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline advanced 0.22% to $3.114 a gallon. Gold rose $6, or 0.46%, to $1,324 a troy ounce.