Stocks started the day quite strong, but there was no obvious positive news. The Covid-19 stats continue to improve and there is a push to reopen the economy, but there still is little clarity about it.
Then news hit that after noon that a Gilead Sciences (GILD) study had been inadvertently leaked and the data was not positive. There was quite a bit of discussion over whether this study was consequential, but that news shifted sentiment, and stocks drifted lower the rest of the afternoon before closing near the lows. There wasn't any big rush for the exits or panic selling, but it was a steady drip of selling.
This action pushed the S&P 500 back under the 50-day simple moving average and adds weight to my recent thesis that we are likely to see trading range action as we work through earnings season.
After the close Intel (INTC) reported and beat on both top and bottom lines, but it withdrew guidance and the stock is trading down over 5.5%. Intel is often an important bellwether for the technology sector, so we will have to watch for some sympathy action in the chip and other sectors.
Overall, the indexes are muddled as the recent "V"-shaped bounce fizzles out, but there isn't any major acceleration to the downside. There doesn't appear to be great fear that stocks are going to downtrend, but the negative sentiment about the economy is keeping plenty of investors sidelined.
We have a substantial number of earnings reports to come and they are likely to be the catalyst for the next major market move, but for now it is an odd mix of generally strong price action, but negative economic sentiment.
Have a good evening. I'll see you tomorrow.