(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* Rising crude prices boost energy stocks
* Durable goods, pending home sales surprise to the upside
* Robinhood rises on Goldman Sachs upgrade
* Indexes down: Dow 0.2%, S&P 0.3%, Nasdaq 0.8%
NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed lower on
Monday, with few catalysts to sway investor sentiment as they
approach the half-way point of a year in which the equity
markets have been slammed by heightened inflation worries and
tightening Fed policy.
The major U.S. stock indexes lost ground after oscillating
earlier in the session, with weakness in interest rate sensitive
megacaps such as Amazon.com, Microsoft Corp
and Alphabet Inc providing the heaviest drag.
"The reason for lack of direction this week and next week is
investors are looking for whats going to happen in the second
quarter reporting period," said Sam Stovall, chief investment
strategist of CFRA Research in New York.
All three indexes are on course to notch two straight
quarterly declines for the first time since 2015. They also
appear set to post losses for June, which would mark three
consecutive down months for the tech-heavy Nasdaq, its longest
losing streak since 2015.
The S&P was on track to report its fifth worst year-to-date
price decline since 1962 as of Friday, Stovall said.
"Every time the SPX rose by more than 20% in a year it fell
by an average of 11% starting relatively early in the new year.
And all years where the decline started in the first half got
back to break even before the year was out."
"No guarantee thats going to happen this year, but the
market could surprise us to the upside," Stovall said.
Rising oil prices helped put energy stocks
out front, with economically sensitive smallcaps and
semiconductors and transports also outperforming
the broader market.
Economic data surprised to the upside, with new orders for
durable goods and pending home sales beating expectations and
adding credence to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's
assertion that the economy is robust enough to withstand the
central bank's attempts to rein in decades-high inflation
without sliding into recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 62.42 points,
or 0.2%, to 31,438.26, the S&P 500 lost 11.63 points, or
0.3%, to 3,900.11 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 93.05
points, or 0.8%, to 11,514.57.
Among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, eight ended the
session in negative territory, with consumer discretionary
suffering the largest percentage loss. Energy stocks
were the clear winners, gaining 2.8% on the day.
With several weeks to go until second-quarter reporting
commences, 130 S&P 500 companies have pre-announced. Of those,
45 have been positive and 77 have been negative, resulting in a
negative/positive ratio of 1.7 stronger than the first quarter
but weaker than a year ago, according to Refinitiv data.
Shares of retail stock trading platform Robinhood Markets
rose 14.0% after media reports said Goldman Sachs
changed the stock to "neutral" from "sell".
But the broker double downgrade of cryptocurrency exchange
Coinbase Global Inc's shares to "sell" from "buy", sent
its stock sliding 10.8%.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.17-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.02-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 29 new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 24 new highs and 84 new lows.
Volume on U.S. exchanges was 10.91 billion shares, compared
with the 12.95 billion average over the last 20 trading days.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; additional reporting by Shreyashi
Sanyal and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; editing by Grant