Wall Street finished mixed on Monday as investors waited for first quarter earnings to kick off. Lack of news on the trade front was another reason for lackluster stock price movement. However, crude oil prices posted impressive gains. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite advanced while the Dow ended in the red.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed at 26,341.02, declining 0.3%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) rose 0.1% to close at 2,895.77. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 7,953.88, increasing 0.2%. A total of 6.15 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 7.28 billion shares. Advancing outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1.11-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, decliners had an edge over advancers by 1.16-to-1 ratio. The CBOE VIX increased 2.8% to close at 13.18.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow ended in negative territory with 17 stocks of the 30-stocks blue-chip index finishing in the green while thirteen ended in the red. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished in the green due to strong performance by large-cap tech stocks.
The S&P 500 also closed in the green eight consecutive days. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gained 0.4% while Utilities Select Sector SPDR (XLU) lost 0.7%. Notably, six out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in the green and five finished in the red.
First-Quarter Earnings Expectations
Expectations for first-quarter 2019 earnings are far from encouraging at present. Total earnings of the S&P 500 Index are anticipated to be down 4% from the same period last year. Broad-based margin pressure across all major sectors is the primary reason for an expected earnings decline. However, revenues for the S&P 500 companies are expected to increase 4.6% year over year. First quarter earnings will start extensively from later this week as several banks will release their quarterly results. (Read More: Previewing Bank Earnings)
Crude Oil Prices Surge
On Apr 8, crude oil prices reached highest level in 5 months. The U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained $1.32 or 2.1% to close at $64.40 a barrel, its highest since Nov 1, 2018. The global benchmark Brent crude rose 76 cents or 1.1% to $71.10 a barrel, its highest since Nov 7, 2018.
The surge in crude oil prices was due to a full-scale civil-war in Libya. The U.S. military has decided to pull a small contingent of American forces from that country. Breakout of civil-war will significantly disrupt global oil supplies in near future.
Consequently, shares of oil behemoths like Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM - Free Report) and Chevron Corp. (CVX - Free Report) increased 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively. Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Trade Negotiation Continues
No major news on U.S.-China trade war front appeared on Monday. On Apr 6, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the United States and China are “closer and closer” to a trade deal. Negotiations are in the final stages but hinge upon China’s assurances to protect U.S. intellectual property.
The Department of Commerce reported that U.S. factory orders fell 0.5% in February, in line with the consensus estimate. Weakness in machinery, transportation equipment and electronic products segments are primary reasons for decline in factory orders.
Stock That Made Headline
Hawaiian Airlines' March Load Factor Falls, Q1 View Tweaked
Hawaiian Holdings Inc.’s (HA - Free Report) wholly owned subsidiary Hawaiian Airlines reported traffic figures for March. (Read More)
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