Stocks end mixed ahead of Thanksgiving

U.S. stocks wrapped the light trading session ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday mixed. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite posted decent gains, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost some ground late in the session giving up a nearly 200 point intraday advance.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33963.84 -106.58 -0.31%
SP500 S&P 500 4320.06 -9.94 -0.23%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 13211.806896 -12.18 -0.09%

Dow energy members Chevron and Exxon Mobil rose as global oil prices stabilized one day after the worst drop for U.S. crude in three years.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
CVX CHEVRON CORP. 166.28 +1.09 +0.66%
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 114.97 +0.21 +0.18%
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 80.63 +0.20 +0.25%

However, this was not enough to shake another down session for Apple, which is sitting in a bear market, down 20 percent from its October high. Investors did take a fresh shine to some large cap tech names, many of which have taken a beating over the past several weeks. The so-called FAANG stocks, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google, were mixed on Wednesday after shedding a combined $1 trillion plus in value from their record highs.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FB n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
AAPL APPLE INC. 174.79 +0.86 +0.49%
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 129.12 -0.21 -0.16%
NFLX NETFLIX INC. 379.81 -4.34 -1.13%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 130.25 -0.19 -0.15%

Tech, energy and consumer discretionary companies helped U.S. stocks recover some of the losses from Wednesday but the Dow and S&P 500 remain in the red for the year, while the Nasdaq Composite managed to maintain modest yearly gains. Defensive sectors, such as utlities and consumer staples, were lower.

The extrended drop in global crude prices remain a big focus for world investors, as well as President Trump. On Tuesday, in a statement he indicated the U.S. will continue its working relationship with Saudi Arabia and later told reporters oil prices were in "great shape." He followed up with a fresh tweet on Wednesday thanking the Saudis and touting "oil prices are getting lower."

In deal news, Humana and Walgreens are reportedly in talks, according to The Wall Street Journal. This comes as Aetna and CVS prepare to close their $69 billion deal after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
HUM HUMANA INC. 493.96 -0.29 -0.06%
CVS CVS HEALTH CORP. 71.15 -0.74 -1.03%
AET n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Retailers are also in focus as the key holiday shopping season kicks in. Gap —the owner of Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta—says its namesake store Gap is dragging down its overall sales and is looking into closing hundreds of the brand’s locations “with urgency.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GPS GAP INC. 9.94 -0.29 -2.83%
TGT TARGET CORP. 112.60 -4.72 -4.02%
WMT WALMART INC. 162.35 +0.43 +0.27%
BBBY n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

During a call with investors late Tuesday, Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck, said sales at Gap stores have fallen 7 percent over the last 12 months, while other brands like Old Navy and Banana Republic saw a boost, forcing the company to “address” the issue.

In economic news, U.S. Durable Goods orders dropped 4.4 percent, the most in 15 months, suggesting a slowdown in business investment.  There are mounting concerns about the pace of  global growth which spurred fresh declines in stocks around the world, most notably wiping out yearly advances for the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, while the Nasdaq Composite hung on to fractional gains.

U.S. stocks sold off across the board on Tuesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling over 600 points, before trimming those declines. Losses accelerated in the final hour of trading as all major S&P 500 sectors tumbled led by energy, industrials, financials and tech. Volatility is higher due to a short trading week. Financial markets are closed on Thursday and will close at 1pm ET on Friday.