- Stocks largely lose ground after shortfalls in consumer confidence and housing sales readings
- Consumer confidence in May stalled on worries about economic growth closing.
- The Nasdaq Composite eked out a small win.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
US stocks largely turned lower on Tuesday after disappointing data about consumers and house sales soured sentiment at a time when investors are counting a revival in business activity that was paused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 lost ground to mark their first loss in four sessions. Stocks pulled back after Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading for May was below expectations of 119.5, with short-term optimism by consumers down as they anticipate decelerating economic growth and softening labor market conditions in the coming months. Meanwhile, new home sales slid 5.9% in April to a more-than-expected annual rate of 863,000 units.
Here’s where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday:
- S&P 500: 4,188.17, down 0.21%
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,311.73, down 0.24% (82.25 points)
- Nasdaq Composite: 13,657.17, up 0.03%
Meanwhile, market speculation has picked up pace recently and retail investors should move with caution, Darren Schuringa, CEO of ASYMmetric ETFs, told Insider on Tuesday.
“When you start to see margin balances shoot up, that’s a red flag for investors,” he said. He said a study his firm conducted showed that margin balances in the US have hit record levels. With margin trading, investors borrow money from their brokerage companies and use the funds to buy stocks.
“It’s a great indicator of a market peak. Margin balances before the Dot-Com bubble peaked. Before the Great Recession, they peaked. Currently, they are off the charts at over $800 billion, approaching $1 trillion.” Schuringa said such balances have soared from around $479 billion after the coronavirus pandemic hit last year.
Around the markets, Lordstown Motors shares tumbled Tuesday after the company cut its annual production guidance and said it needs to raise more money as it aims to start production on its electric pickup truck this year.
Gold rose 0.9% to $1,897.94 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield at 1.56%.
Bitcoin dropped 2%, to $37,920.15.