Economist's Insights

Today’s Trading Activity – Food Retailers Slump on Amazon Price-Cuts, Hurricane Fears Hit Gas Crack Spread

Aug 24, 2017

U.S. stocks fell for a second day Thursday, further trimming weekly gains accumulated in Tuesday’s rally. Health care companies were the only bright spot within the S&P as the remaining 10 sectors faltered. Nine of those 10 sectors saw modest declines of less than 0.4%. However, the consumer staples sector fell 1.34% after companies playing in the food retail space tumbled 2.71% collectively. Food retailers took it on the chin after it was reported Amazon would close its deal to acquire Whole Foods on Monday and immediately cut prices on a selection of key grocery items. Treasury yields remained higher despite the weakness in equities ahead of big Friday speeches from the heads of the U.S. and European central banks. The 2-year yield rose 2.5 bps to 1.33% as the 5-year yield added 3.1 bps to 1.78% and the 10-year yield closed up 2.8 bps to 2.19%. Crude prices fell while gasoline rallied on concerns that hurricane Harvey could shutter refiners for a period. The divergence sent the gasoline crack spread to its widest since February.