Stock market trades little changed in front of holiday weekend
The stock market is taking another breather today right before the Memorial Day weekend. The major indices currently trade mixed and little changed, with the S&P 500 down 0.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.4%, and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.1%. A defensive-minded approach has taken fold, evidenced by the gains in the real estate (+1.4%), utilities (+0.5%), and consumer staples (+0.5%) sectors. The top-weighted information technology sector (+0.1%), which has some defensive-like qualities, is up 0.1%. Weighing on the market today are the cyclical energy (-1.5%), financials (-0.5%), materials (-0.5%), and industrials (-0.5%) sectors. Energy stocks have been pressured by the modest pullback in oil prices ($32.88, -1.04, -3.1%). These sectors are still on pace for strong weekly gains, though. Within the tech sector, shares of NVIDIA (NVDA 361.22, +10.21, +2.9%) are trading at fresh all-time highs after the company topped quarterly expectations and provided upside Q2 revenue guidance. Intuit (INTU 287.24, -2.76,, -1.0%) shares, on the other hand, are down 1% despite reporting positive earnings results. In the latest signs of increasing U.S.-China tensions, reports have indicated that China is going to implement national security laws on Hong Kong, as it aims to tighten control over the region. On related notes, China withdrew its 2020 GDP growth target, and shares of Alibaba (BABA 200.71, -11.47) are down 5.4% following its earnings report. Separately, NIAID Director Fauci said he was "cautiously optimistic" about Moderna's (MRNA 68.63, +1.59, +2.4%) COVID-19 vaccine candidate and said it was possible to develop a vaccine by the end of the year. That appears to be good news, but like the bad news, the reaction in broader market has been reserved. Elsewhere, there has been some precautionary trades in the 10-yr Treasury note (down 2-bps to 0.66%) and in gold futures (+1734.20, +12.30, +0.7%) in front of the long weekend. The U.S. Dollar Index is up 0.5% to 99.84.