X The Nasdaq slid 0.7% after erasing a 0.6% gain, threatening to end a seven-day win streak. The S&P 500 was down nearly 0.4%. The Dow Jones industrial average also backtracked and fell 0.3%. The Dow has been meeting resistance at the 50-day moving average this week.
The Russell 2000 shed 0.2%. Volume was modestly lower on the NYSE and higher on the Nasdaq compared with the same time on Monday.
Trump late Monday issued an order barring the proposed Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm due to national security concerns. Broadcom shares pared gains but were up 1.5% at midday, while Qualcomm fell more than 4% to the lowest level since Nov. 3. Qualcomm shares are also close to testing the 200-day moving average. Shares got choppy after taking out the medium-term 50-day line on Feb. 5.
On Tuesday, Trump fired Tillerson as secretary of state, and named CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him. Trump announced the changes on Twitter. There was no official announcement on the White House’s website.
In economic news, core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.2% in February. But the annual inflation rate was steady at 1.8%, below forecasts. The soft inflation number eases the odds of a fourth interest-rate hike this year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was nearly unchanged at 2.86%.
The retail sector — including department stores, consumer electronics and home furnishings — performed well in the market today. Homebuilders also were leaders as the group tries to shake off a slump. Airlines and data storage also had notable gains.
Hospitals, health care services and medical researchers were among medicals that lagged the market. Yet there were a few breakouts among small caps in the sector.
Cutera (CUTR) broke out of an undefined base, topping a 53 buy point in heavy volume before pulling back. Stephens initiated coverage with an overweight rating and a 60 price target. Cutera makes laser systems to remove hair and smooth the skin.
Biotech Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (AMPH) leapt past the 20.05 entry of a base after the company’s profit and sales for the quarter came in above views. BMO Capital raised its price target to 19 from 17, Dow Jones reported. Amedisys (AMED), a home nursing provider, rose above a 61.88 buy point in above-average trading.