US stocks hold steady after worst drop since February

The stock market has muddled along sideways today as investors weigh up signs of pessimism from consumers about the outlook for the economy.

After the big slides we saw yesterday, it’s some consolation that stocks have stabilised on Wall Street, even as the Crimea referendum hangs over proceedings. By early afternoon in New York, the Dow Jones was up 0.08% at 16,122, while the broader S&P 500 was also little-changed, up just 0.04% at 1847.0.

Somewhat paradoxically, today’s US economic releases have been more discouraging than yesterday’s. The University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment slipped to 79.9 for mid-March, which was worse than expected and down from the reading of 81.6 seen last month. The softness in the report derives from the expectations component, as opposed to current conditions. For once, this can’t be laid at the feet of bad weather, and perhaps comes from the tensions with Russia.

With no catalysts remaining on the economic calendar for the rest of the day, how investors behave could well be dictated from hereon in by how events unfold regarding Ukraine, Russia and the West. Given the uncertainty surrounding the situation, I would be surprised if caution doesn’t comprise part of the character of this afternoon’s trading session in New York.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Find articles by analysts

Een artikel zoeken

Form has failed to submit. Please contact IG directly.

  • Ik wens per e-mail informatie van IG Group bedrijven te ontvangen over handelsideeën en IG's producten en diensten.

Voor meer informatie over hoe wij uw gegevens mogelijk kunnen gebruiken, bekijkt u ons Privacy- en toegangsbeleid en onze privacy website.