It was a difficult day on Wall Street for those long equities. Indeed, the major U.S. equity averages were lower at the outset of trading, with a dour report on the trade gap in hand—the deficit widened considerably in March on the strength of the U.S. dollar—the main culprit behind the initial selloff. Then a half hour into the trading session, the investment community received the latest reading on nonmanufacturing activity and it was a case of good news is bad news for stocks.
Media conglomerate and Dow-30 component The Walt Disney Co. continues to impress. The company posted 7% and 14% top- and bottom-line increases, respectively, during the second quarter of fiscal 2015 (year began October 1, 2014). The stock rose slightly in response to the earnings report in a notably weaker stock market.
The hoped-for second-quarter economic recovery just received a welcome boost this earlier morning, as the National Association of Purchasing Managers reported that its non-manufacturing survey had increased to a reading of 57.8 last month. That level, not only was well above the dividing line between an expanding services sector and one that is contracting, which is at 50.0, but also was a bit above the consensus expectation for the latest month of 56.3.