As investors settle in to what is historically the worst performing month for stocks, the S&P 500 turned positive just in the nick of time on Thursday before slipping into five straight days of losses.
Eight of the market’s 11 sectors achieved positive final closes, with health care being the largest gainer with returns of 1.65%. Energy, on the other hand, has lost momentum, sliding 2.3% on Thursday and 5.72% over the previous five trading sessions as oil prices have returned to levels seen prior to the Russia/Ukraine war.
Speaking of Russia, after a significant profit and dividend announcement this week from state-owned energy company Gazprom — a previous partner of Shell PLC SHEL — rose almost 20%. The The Nord Stream pipeline was shut down on Wednesday for repair by the firm, which has been at the core of the European gas crisis. Gas flow is set to resume Sept. 3.
Stateside, the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.26% and the broad market S&P 500 gained 0.30% in the final minutes of trade. The actions were made when the 2-year U.S. Treasury yield increased to 3.51% on Thursday, which was its highest level since November 2007.
Shares of Nvidia Corporation NVDA, a manufacturer of computer chips, also contributed to broad losses by dropping more than 8% — 12% at the lows — after the chip maker said that the Biden administration is restricting some sales in China and Russia, which could result in $400 million in losses in the third quarter.
After absorbing recent hawkish words from Fed officials who show no signs of backing off on interest rate hikes, many are now wondering whether indices will challenge the June lows as the major averages go into the fifth straight day of losses.