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US Markets Lost Strength, Increased Caution in the Market

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US markets

After declining for two consecutive trading weeks, the S&P 500 started this week on a stronger note and opened higher on Tuesday. However, the market lost strength as the day progressed and closed lower. On July 3, five out of 11 major S&P 500 sectors closed the day lower. Weakness in the IT and financials sectors weighed on the market. However, strength in the telecom services and energy sectors limited the market’s losses.

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Market sentiment

US markets rose in the morning session on July 3 amid the energy sector’s strong performance. US crude oil’s rally to more than $75 per barrel on Tuesday triggered buying in the energy sector and supported US markets. On Tuesday, the trading hours were shorter before the Independence Day holiday. Increased selling in the final minutes of trading brought the market lower. There’s caution in the markets. The US is getting ready to impose import tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods on July 6, which weighed on the markets. On the economic data front, according to the US Census Bureau, US factory orders grew 0.4% in May—better than the forecast of 0.1% growth.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) fell 0.35% to $270.90 on July 3.

Volatility

The CBOE Volatility Index (or VIX) measures uncertainty in the market. The index rose 3.46% to 16.14 on July 3. The index is measured on a scale of one to 100 with 20 as the historical average. The VIX is also called the “fear index.” Usually, the index has an inverse relationship with stocks and rises when the S&P 500 falls.

NASDAQ and Dow

After closing higher for three days, the NASDAQ Composite Index (QQQ) opened higher on July 3 and fell in the closing hours. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index was weakened by the sell-off in IT stocks and the market’s weak risk appetite. The NASDAQ Composite Index fell 0.86% and closed the day at 7,502.67. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) declined amid trade war concerns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.54% and closed the day at 24,174.82.

Next, we’ll discuss the S&P 500’s top gainers on July 3.

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