Ongoing U.S. and China trade negotiations and expectations around a Fed rate hike kept benchmarks on a tight leash on Monday. While the Dow logged small gains, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended in the red.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.1% or 28.90 points, to close at 27,221.35. The S&P 500 lost 0.2% to close at 3,020.97. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index finished at 8,293.33, losing 0.4%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 5.5% to close at 12.83. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.30-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.64-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.
Investors Await Fed’s Announcement
Investors widely expect the Fed to cut lending rates by 25 points even after fresh GDP data showed the economy was healthy. Economists think rates cuts are more than welcome with the U.S.-China trade war dampening market growth and inflation falling short of expectations. The core PCE price index increased 1.8% in the second quarter, which fell short Fed’s desired 2%.
A quarter point rate cut will push money into the economy and support borrowing for American businesses which are suffering due to persistent trade tensions since May.
Trade Talks Resume
U.S. and Chinese officials are meeting on Tuesday to craft what will hopefully be a lasting trade deal, putting an end to the year-long trade war.
Investors embraced the news with great optimism last week. In the current scenario, expectations of a breakthrough are quite low as both the sides are not willing to back off from their demands. The same reason had led to a breakdown in trade talks in May.
Investors Trade Safe, Stocks Move in Tight Range
On Monday, the S&P 500 declined, dragged down by financials and the communication-discretionary sector. The tech-laden Nasdaq landed in red as behemoths Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) , Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) and Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) declined by 1.6 %, 0.2% and 1.9%, respectively.
The Dow gained marginally as blue-chip stocks boosted the market. Shares of The Home Depot, Inc. (HD - Free Report) , Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK - Free Report) and Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report) increased by 0.5%, 1.3% and 1.8%, respectively. Home Depot, Merck and Intel carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 RanK (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Meanwhile, investors received reports of an upcoming merger between Mylan N.V. (MYL - Free Report) with Pfizer Inc's (PFE - Free Report) Upjohn unit. Though Mylan’s shares rose 12.5%, Pfizer’s’ shares slipped 2.1%.
Stock That Made Headline
Gartner Beats Q2 Earnings Estimates, Revises '19 View
Gartner Inc. (IT - Free Report) reported mixed second-quarter 2019 results, wherein the company’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues missed the same. (Read More)
National Oilwell Posts Narrower-Than-Expected Q2 Loss
National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NOV - Free Report) reported an adjusted loss of 4 cents per share in second-quarter 2019, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 7 cents loss. The adjusted figures exclude a goodwill write-down of $5.4 billion. Strong contribution from the Rig Technologies and the Wellbore Technologies segments led to this outperformance. (Read More)
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