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Benchmarks ended higher on Monday lifted by gains in energy shares. Rise in oil prices boosted energy companies. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister along with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intention to freeze crude output helped oil prices gain traction. Hillary Clinton’s lead in the U.S. presidential campaign against Donald Trump also added to the bullish sentiment.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.5%, to close at 18,329.04. The S&P 500 advanced 0.5% to close at 2,163.66. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 5,328.67, increasing 0.7%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) went up 3.3% to settle at 13.93. A total of around 3.5 billion shares were traded on Monday on the NYSE. Advancers outpaced declining stocks on the NYSE. For 70% stocks that advanced, 27% declined.
Climb in Oil Prices Boost Energy Shares
Oil prices moved north on Monday after Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said that he was hopeful that major oil producing nations will agree to trim production level before year-end. He added that it is also “unthinkable” that oil prices could rise another 20% this year to touch $60 a barrel.
Vladimir Putin also supported curbs on petroleum output. He was ready to “join common efforts to limit oil production and urges others to as well.” His comments followed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ proposal to cut its collective output between 32.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and 33 million bpd, down from August’s 33.2 million bpd.
The International Energy Agency had already stated that trimming production by 200,000 bpd to 33 million bpd will bring supply more in line with demand until the second half of next year. Another 700,000 bpd cut in production will help put an end to the glut by the end of this year (read more: 5 Energy Mutual Funds to Play OPEC Oil Production Cut).
WTI crude rose 3% to $51.35 per barrel. Brent crude also advanced 2.3% to $53.14 a barrel. Increase in oil prices led the Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) to gain 1.6%, the highest among the S&P 500 sectors. Dow components such as Chevron Corporation (CVX - Analyst Report) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM - Analyst Report) surged 1.7% and 1.9%, respectively. Both the two companies possess a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Election & Earnings in Focus
Fresh opinion polls show that Clinton is having an edge over Trump heading into elections next month. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday showed Clinton with 46% support among likely voters, while Trump garnered 35% vote. Investors see Clinton’s administration as more predictable than one led by Trump.
Market watchers also kept a close eye on quarterly earnings report. This might give an insight as to how companies are performing amid tepid economic growth and a possible rate hike in the near term.  Total earnings for the S&P 500 index are currently expected to be down 2.9% in the third quarter from the same period last year on 1.2% higher revenues (read more: Previewing the Q3 Earnings Season).
Stocks That Made Headlines
Mylan Stock Gains on $465 Million Settlement Over EpiPens
Mylan NV (MYL - Analyst Report) agreed to pay $465 million in order to settle charges that Mylan overcharged the U.S. government for its anti-allergy EpiPen Auto-Injector. (Read More)
Face It, Twitter: They Just Weren't That into You
Bloomberg reported over the weekend that potential bidders to acquire social media company Twitter Inc. (TWTR - Analyst Report) were backing off. (Read More)
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