Market Commentary A flat day for US markets
• The S&P 500 traded near record territory on Tuesday before retreating with only about a half-hour left in the regular trading session. For the most part, markets had a steady day after data showed an increase in job openings, but didn’t spur significant concern about inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30.42 points, or 0.09%, to 34,599.82; the S&P 500 gained 0.74 points, or 0.02%, at 4,227.26; and the Nasdaq Composite added 43.19 points, or 0.31%, at 13,924.91.
• The Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed 9.3 million openings for April, higher than the expected 8.2 million. More openings mean higher demand for workers, which could potentially bring higher wages and therefore force companies to raise prices. Investors, though, have already digested the upward pressure on wages, as Friday’s job report revealed as much.
• Chinese stocks closed lower after erasing morning gains, dragged by baijiu makers and miners even as automakers strengthened. The Shanghai Composite Index was 0.5% lower, the Shenzhen Composite Index slipped 0.9% and the ChiNext Price Index lost 0.6%. Hong Kong stocks extended their losing streak to five consecutive sessions. The benchmark Hang Seng Index edged 0.02% lower. Consumption stocks were the biggest losers, as the sector retreated from strong gains on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average ended 0.2% lower, weighed by falls in semiconductor-related stocks despite gains for pharmaceutical shares. The broader market index Topix rose 0.1%. The Straits Times index ended 0.2% lower at 3,170.76.