Reports of potential antitrust investigations into the biggest names in technology sunk stocks from the outset and weighed most heavily on the Nasdaq. Those worries, at least for a day, supplanted ongoing concerns about the trade fights that the U.S. is waging with both China and Mexico, though a number of lackluster PMI readings were a reminder that global growth worries have not gone away even if they were not front and center in today's trading.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., Markit's manufacturing PMI for May came in at 50.5, just below the consensus of 50.6. The ISM manufacturing index for May came in at 52.1, versus expectations for a reading of 53.0. Construction spending was flat in April, versus the consensus call for an increase of 0.4% for the month.
In China, the Caixin manufacturing PMI was 50.2, flat compared to April and a bit better than the consensus at 50.
In Europe, the final Eurozone manufacturing PMI for May was in-line with the flash reading at 47.7.
TOP NEWS: Major tech companies were in focus following reports of government agencies opening antitrust investigations into multiple U.S. tech giants. Class A shares of Alphabet (GOOGL) fell 6.1% following media reports saying that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to open an investigation into Google's compliance with antitrust laws. Meanwhile, Amazon (AMZN) could also face heightened antitrust scrutiny under a new agreement between U.S. regulators that puts it under closer watch by the Federal Trade Commission, The Washington Post reported. The Wall Street Journal also reported that the FTC is preparing to open an antitrust probe into Facebook (FB) to examine whether it has engaged in unlawful monopolistic practices. Additionally, Reuters said that the DoJ's Antitrust Division has been given jurisdiction to open an antitrust investigation into Apple (AAPL), whose shares fell 1% after the report.
In other Apple news, the iPhone maker kicked off its Annual Worldwide Developers Conference, during which the company unveiled a new Apple Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, the watchOS 6 operating system for Apple Watch devices, iPadOS with a new home screen and split view, the new tvOS 13 system for Apple TV, iOS 13 with Dark Mode, and a new App Store for the Apple Watch.
Boeing (BA) shares slipped fractionally after the Federal Aviation Administration announced yesterday in a statement that the planemaker informed the agency that certain 737 NG and 737 MAX leading edge slat tracks may have been improperly manufactured and may not meet all applicable regulatory requirements for strength and durability.
In M&A news, Infineon Technologies (IFNNY) announced an agreement to acquire and Cypress Semiconductor (CY) for $23.85 per share in cash, corresponding to an enterprise value of EUR9B.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Spirit MTA REIT (SMTA), which rose 19.8% after it agreed to be acquired by Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT) for $2.4B. Hospitality Properties shares were 2.4% lower after the news. Also higher was El Paso Electric (EE), which gained 13.7% after it agreed to be acquired by the Infrastructure Investments Fund for $68.25 per share.
Among the notable losers was TrueCar (TRUE), which fell 18.7% after announcing the retirement of president and CEO Chip Perry. Also lower was Centene (CNC), which declined 10.3% after Humana (HUM) confirmed that it will not propose a merger with Centene. Humana shares were 2.2% higher after the news.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 4.74, or 0.02%, to 24,819.78, the Nasdaq lost 120.13, or 1.61%, to 7,333.02, and the S&P 500 declined 7.61, or 0.28%, to 2,744.45.