The major stock market indexes were mixed in afternoon trading, up in the last hour and off the lows of the day. Investors have had a change of heart as they sell out of defensive stocks for more growth plays.
The S&P 500 rose 0.6% while the Nasdaq was the strongest performer, up 1.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fared the worst, down 0.3%. The Russell 2000 small-cap index added 0.7%
The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100-tracking Invesco QQQ trust ETF (QQQ) climbed 1.8%.
Volume on the NYSE and Nasdaq was lower vs. the same time on Thursday.
Crude oil added 2.2% to $88.34 per barrel. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) edged up 2.7%. Natural gas plunged 5.8% and is below $6 per million British thermal units.
The bond market is closed in observance of Veterans Day. Bitcoin gave back another 7.8% to $16,345.
European markets were mixed, with the German DAX stock index higher by 0.6% and the Paris CAC 40 up 0.6%. The London FTSE 100 fell 0.8% to close out the day.
Odds for a 50-basis-point hike at the December Fed meeting are now 80.6% while 19.4% are looking for a 75-basis-point hike, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.
Big Stock Market Losers Include Healthcare Stocks
Health care is today’s worst performing S&P sector, with Health Care Select Sector SPDR (XLV) down more than 2% and now below a 134.57 buy point.
Humana (HUM) tumbled 6.7% as a big S&P 500 laggard. The stock is back near its 515.08 buy point.
Eli Lilly (LLY) plunged 6.2% in heavy volume, sending it below its 21-day exponential moving average.
Harmony Biosciences (HRMY) lost 2.4% as other biotechs fell. AMN Healthcare Services (AMN) plummeted 5.3%. The health care staffing services provider dropped below its 50-day moving average.
Dow Jones Defensive Darlings Sell Off
The Dow’s medical stocks hurt the index. UnitedHealth Group (UNH) was down 5.7% and is the Dow’s biggest loser of the day, as investors scrambled out of the sector.
Merck (MRK) dropped 4% and is below its 21-day line. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) gave back 3.6%, finding support at its 50-day line. Amgen (AMGN) retreated 3% with the group.
Other defensive sectors also fell today. The SPDR Select Sector Utilities ETF (XLU) trimmed 1.7%. The SPDR Select Consumer Staples ETF (XLP) dropped 1%, as investors found other places for their capital.
PepsiCo (PEP) dropped 3% and is below its 21-day exponential moving average.
IBD 50 Lags Most Indexes
The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) edged up 0.1%, holding up better than the Dow, but lagging the S&P 500.
CVR Energy (CVI) popped 5.1% as energy stocks saw strength.
Cross Country Healthcare (CCRN) dropped sharply 6.7%, and is below its 50-day line. It is a big IBD 50 loser today and part of the health care sell-off.
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