All 11 sectors in the S&P 500 are down for the week and the month
The 11 sectors of the S&P 500 suffered during regular trading on Wednesday, dragged by energy companies.
Notable decliners in the energy sector include EQT, which slumped 7.8%, and APA, which fell about 5.2%. The losses came alongside falling prices for West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude, as well as natural gas.
The eleven sectors are limping along as the week begins to wind down. They are all down for the week, dragged by communication services, which is off by nearly 2.7%. All sectors are also negative for December, with consumer discretionary leading the categories to the downside and off by about 13.3%
Energy is shining for the fourth quarter and the year, however. It’s up 19.6% for the final three months of the year, and up about 56.4% for 2022.
–Darla Mercado, Chris Hayes
Cal-Maine’s latest results show consumers are paying nearly twice as much for a dozen eggs
What does inflation looks like these days?
Consumers are paying roughly twice as much for a dozen eggs than they were a year ago, driven in part by greater demand for specialty eggs, according to the latest results from Cal-Maine Foods, the nation’s largest egg producer.
The average selling price for each dozen of eggs hit $2.71 in the quarter ended November 2022, up from $1.37 the same quarter the previous year. That increase has outpaced a rise in feed costs, which have been surging in recent years.
Supply and demand are propelling the surge in prices.
While bird flu has hurt industry supplies, Cal-Maine has continued to see enormous demand — notably in premium specialty eggs. Conventional egg volumes were actually 2% lower in the quarter, while specialty eggs saw a 24% surge in volumes.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Conventional egg prices have been increasing so much that they’ve been exceeding prices for specialty eggs. Cal-Maine’s average price for conventional eggs in the latest quarter was $2.88 – more than 21% higher than the going price of $2.37 for specialty eggs.
So why pay for a conventional egg when you can get a less expensive specialty egg? Cal-Maine pointed out that the phenomenon has been a surprising trend of late: “Conventional egg prices exceeding specialty egg prices has occurred for the past three quarters but is atypical historically.”
Also boosting specialty egg demand – cage-free egg mandates in California and Massachusetts last January, as well as a trend of “more retailers shifting to selling more cage-free products.”
Shares of Cal-Maine jumped 68% in 2022. Still, the stock was down about 5% in Wednesday extended trading.
— Robert Hum, Sarah Min
Stock futures open higher
U.S. stock futures opened higher Wednesday night, as investors head into the final trading days of 2022.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 38 points, or 0.09%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.12% and 0.15%, respectively.
— Sarah Min