Stocks edged lower in early trading on Tuesday, with investors awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech later in the day, with a mixed session so far for the Standard & Poor’s 500 sectors.
Powell is set to speak at 1pm ET in New York on the economic outlook and monetary policy review, according to the Fed’s website. It comes during a week where Wall Street is also anticipating the Group of 20 event later in Japan, with President Trump poised to hold meetings with world leaders including China’s Xi Jinping.
“Global equity markets moved little yesterday and look essentially directionless in the lead-up to the G20 meeting,” said Masanari Takada with Nomura Instinet. “Most major categories of trader appear to be waiting to see what happens next.”
Energy and communication services were both down about 0.4% in morning trade, while real estate, health care and consumer discretionary were up about 0.2%. On the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Goldman Sachs (GS) slipped 1.2% as almost two-thirds of the blue chips were weaker.
In company news, Allergan (AGN) jumped 27% after AbbVie (ABBV) said it would acquire the maker of Botox and CoolSculpting in a $63 billion cash-and-stock deal. AbbVie was down 15%.
Grubhub (GRUB) climbed 6.6% after Citigroup raised its rating on the food-delivery company to buy from neutral with a $91 price target. Brighthouse Financial (BHF) fell 9.2% after Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse both cut ratings on the firm.
The day’s economic data was focused on housing, with the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city composite home-price index flat month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted basis, beneath the Econoday consensus for a 0.3% rise. The Federal Housing Finance Agency rose 0.4% in April from 0.1% in March.