S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Dow Regained Strength on May 18
On May 17, the S&P 500 fell the most in eight months amid political jitters in the US. It opened lower on Thursday but moved higher as the day progressed. On May 18, nine out of 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 closed the day positive—the telecom services sector supported market strength.
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Weaker sentiment amid political concerns
The S&P 500 fell to three-week low price levels amid concerns about the Trump Administration’s ability to successfully implement promised policies amid political turmoil in the US. A probe on Russia’s interference in the US presidential election and reports raising doubts about President Trump’s involvement weighed on US markets. The market regained some strength after Robert Mueller took over the investigation. Mueller is a former FBI director. Market stability improved after supporting economic data were released.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, US initial jobless claims fell to 232,000 from the previous reading of 236,000. The market sentiment was also improved due to the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index, which rose to 38.8 in May. The S&P 500 VIX Index (CBOE Volatility Index) measures uncertainty in the market. On May 18, it fell 6% to 14.66. The VIX index is measured on a scale of 1–100 with 20 as the historical average. It’s also called the “fear index.” Generally, it moves opposite to stocks’ movements—it rises when the S&P 500 falls.
NASDAQ and Dow
Similar to the S&P 500 on Thursday, the NASDAQ Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average opened the day lower, but regained strength and pared losses. On May 18, NASDAQ rose 0.73% and ended the day at 6,055.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.27% and closed at 20,663.02.
In the next part, we’ll discuss the top and bottom market movers on May 19.