U.S. stocks capped a turbulent May lower on Tuesday after a rally late last week failed to sustain momentum.
The S&P 500 fell 0.6% in a choppy session, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 222 points, or 0.7%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.4%.
The moves come after all three indexes posted weekly gains of more than 6% on Friday, snapping back from seven straight weeks of losses for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq and eight weeks of losses for the Dow. May marked another volatile month for equity markets as concerns about inflation and rising interest rates weighed on sentiment. Despite a mostly underwhelming month, the S&P 500 and Dow each closed slightly higher for the month, while the Nasdaq extended its losses by 2%.
Oil futures pared late-session gains after a jump in early trading following reports that Chinese authorities were ready to end a two-month COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai and one agreement by EU leaders to stop crude oil purchases and petroleum products from Russia. WTI crude futures rose 3.6% to $118.70, while Brent crude futures rose 3.7% to $123.83.
Shares of movie giant AMC (AMC) rose up to 10% in intraday trading but closed slightly lower following TOP GUN’s debut over Memorial Day weekend. U.S. theaters saw an estimated 122% year-over-year increase over last year’s holiday weekend. AMC said in a statement Tuesday, highlighting positive signs of a post-COVID recovery for the industry. Before Tuesday’s close, AMC shares were up nearly 40% over the previous three sessions.
Wall Street’s rally last week came after a favorable batch of quarterly earnings in recent trading sessions, which helped temporarily ease concerns about the weight of inflation on corporate profits. Signs from recent economic data that prices were rising also helped boost sentiment.
The story continues
Still, the stock fell sharply for the year, and some strategists have been skeptical that a bottom has been established.
“Last week’s strength will turn out to be another bear market rally in the end,” Michael Wilson, CIO of Morgan Stanley, said in a note to the customers
Despite clawing back some losses, stocks have had a volatile month, fueled by concerns about decades-high inflation and fears that the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb rising prices by raising interest rates could fall the economy into a recession.
“The main reason attributed to this particular rally beyond an oversold bounce is that the Fed may be eyeing a September pause,” Wilson wrote, adding that “inflation remains too high for the taste of the Fed and therefore any pivot investors may expect. will be too immaterial to change the downward trend in stock prices.”
This week, investors are they are expected to draw on a number of key employment dataincluding the important May jobs report due out on Friday.
4:00 PM ET: Stocks round out the volatile month at a sluggish pace
Here were the top market moves as Wall Street closed on the last trading day of May:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): -25.77 (-0.62%) to 4,132.47
Dow (^DJI): -220.99 (-0.67%) to 32,991.97
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -49.74 (-0.41%) up to 12,081.39
Crude (CL=F): +$0.29 (+0.25%) to $115.36 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): -$16.70 (-0.90%) to $1,840.60 per ounce
10-year treasury (^TNX): +10.1 bp for a return of 2.8440%
10:10 am ET: Economic data comes in “better than feared” on Tuesday
The holiday-shortened week is data-heavy for investors, with early indications for May showing some “better than feared” reports as recession anxiety has risen in recent weeks.
The MNI-Chicago PMI reading was 60.3 in May, better than the 55 expected. Any reading above 50 for this report indicates economic expansion.
The Conference Board’s latest gauge of consumer confidence also beat expectations, coming in at 106.4 in May against forecasts for a reading of 103.5. And while this May reading is below April’s level, the report shows, “views of current business conditions, which tend to outpace employment trends, improved. Overall , the current situation index remains at strong levels, suggesting that growth did not contract further in the second quarter.”
And with people pointed it out today Citi’s Economic Surprise Index fell to its lowest levels since September 2021, these reports hit the tape just in time.
—Myles Udland, Senior Markets Editor
9:30 am ET: Stocks fall as Wall Street struggles to maintain momentum
Here’s where the major indexes traded at the start of Tuesday’s session:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): -14.99 (-0.36%) to 4,143.25
Dow (^DJI): -205.49 (-0.62%) to 33,007.47
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +390.43 (+3.33%) to 12,131.13
Crude (CL=F): +$3.85 (+3.35%) to $118.92 a barrel
Gold (GC=F): -$3.00 (-0.16%) to $1,854.30 per ounce
10-year treasury (^TNX): +9.9 bp for a return of 2.8420%
7:14 am ET: Futures move after rally ends weeks-long losing streak for stocks
Here were the top moves in early trading Tuesday to start the holiday-shortened week:
S&P 500 futures (IS=F): -15.05 (-0.36%) to 4,140.75
Dow futures (YM=F): -130.00 (-0.39%) to 33,028.00
Nasdaq Futures (NQ=F): -3.00 (-0.02%) to 12,674.75
Crude (CL=F): +$3.63 (+3.15%) to $118.70
Gold (GC=F): -$5.60 (-0.03%) to $1,851.70 per ounce
10-year treasury (^TNX): -1.3 bp to get 2.7430%
A person walks through the Wall Street subway station near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York on May 27, 2022. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP in via Getty Images)
Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc