The S&P 500 notched up a fresh record high on Monday after technology and financial stocks rallied. Investor sentiment improved after the impact of Hurricane Irma was weaker than expected. The Dow also posted its biggest one-day percentage gain since Mar 1, with shares of Travelers contributing the most toward its gains. Markets received another boost after North Korea chose not to test another nuclear missile over the weekend.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,057.37, gaining 1.2%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 1.1% to close at 2,488.11. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,432.26, rising 1.1%. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,216 to 539. On the Nasdaq, advancers outnumbered decliners by 1,966 to 808. The CBOE VIX decreased 6.5% to close at 93.66.
Dow and S&P 500 Notch up Record Gains
The S&P 500 notched up a record high on Monday, ending the session up more than 1% and gaining 26.68 points in the process. This marked its biggest percentage gain since Apr 24. All of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors ended in the green, led by financials. The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) advanced 1.7%.
The financial sector gained from bullish sentiments following weaker than expected impact of Hurricane Irma. The hurricane was initially categorized as a Category 5 hurricane but lost strength after hitting the coast of Florida over the weekend. It has since been degraded to a tropical storm as the impact has been significantly lesser than what had originally been expected by the National Hurricane Centre.
Biggest contributors to such gains were stocks of leading insurers.. Shares of Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV - Free Report) , Progressive Corp. (PGR - Free Report) , American International Group Inc. (AIG - Free Report) , XL Group (XL - Free Report) and Everest Re Group (RE - Free Report) increased 2.3%, 2.2%, 1.7%, 5% and 4.3% respectively. Meanwhile, PowerShares KBW Property & Casualty Insurance Portfolio (KBWP) and SPDR S&P Insurance exchange-traded fund (KIE) increased 3.1% and 2.2% respectively.
The Dow gained 259.58 points on Monday, surging more than 1%. This marked its biggest daily percentage increase since Mar 1, when it gained 303 points. Of the blue-chip index’s 30 components, 28 ended in the green. The biggest contributor to such gains for the Dow was shares of Travelers Companies Inc. Meanwhile Nasdaq also surged more than 1% due to a surge in the tech stocks. Shares of Apple Inc (AAPL - Free Report) surged almost 2% ahead of the launch of its latest iPhone on Tuesday. The company possesses a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
North Korea Fails To Launch its Much Anticipated Missile
Markets also gained after a nuclear missile from North Korea anticipated over the weekend failed to materialize. Early last week, reports surfaced from South Korea that Pyongyang would test another missile over the weekend to celebrate its foundation day. In the event of North Korea not going ahead with the test, geopolitical tensions between Pyongyang and Washington were eased and markets were back to normal.
Meanwhile, the United States urged the Security Council of the United Nations to impose fresh sanctions on North Korea. The Trump administration wants the United Nations to impose an oil embargo on Pyongyang. This gave rise to fresh tensions as North Korea reacted by saying that the U.S. would eventually pay a ‘due price’ for backing the imposition of sanctions on the Asian country.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Equifax (EFX - Free Report) Tanks as Massive Data Breach News Surfaces
The brand image and creditability of Equifax Inc. (EFX - Free Report) is in question as very sensitive personal data of approximately 143 million consumers has been stolen from the credit information provider’s database. (Read More)
Southwest Airlines August Traffic Up, Q3 RASM View Bearish
Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV - Free Report) has reported traffic numbers for August. (Read More)
Apple's Mega Edition iPhone to be Named iPhone X
Apple Inc’s (AAPL - Free Report) much awaited mega edition iPhone will be called iPhone X while the other two editions will be called iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, respectively. (Read More)
More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!
It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.
Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2020. Click here for the 6 trades >>