U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Monday, as investors looked forward to one of the busiest weeks of this earnings season. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed at record highs, while the Dow ended in negative territory.
How Did The Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.2% or 61.92 points to finish at 33,981.57 points, as the consumer staples sector weighed heavy on the blue-chip index.
Shares of The Procter & Gamble Company PG and Walmart, Inc. WMT declined 2% and 1.4%, respectively. Procter & Gamble carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The S&P 500 rose 0.2% or 7.45 points to close at a record high of 4,187.62 points. The index had earlier hit a record high of 4,185.47 on Apr 16.
Energy and materials stocks were the biggest gainers. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gained 0.7%, while the Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) rose 0.6%. Seven the 11 sectors of the benchmark index closed in positive territory.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.9% or 121.97 points to close at 14,138.78 points, surpassing its previous all-time closing high of 4,185.47 points recorded on Apr 16.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 1.79% to 17.64. A total of 9.4 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 10 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.80-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.14-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues.
Investors Hopeful About Solid Earnings Season
The earning season so far has been good and investors are gearing up for more robust results as the tech heavyweights report their quarterly results this week. Companies that comprise around 40% of the S&P 500’s total market cap start reporting from Tuesday.
Markets closed higher on Friday following huge sell off in the previous session on reports that President Joe Biden would propose to increase the capital-gains tax on the wealthiest Americans. However, investors got back their confidence after reassessing their concerns.
Friday’s momentum continued into this week coupled with expectations of upbeat earnings from some of the biggest companies. This sent stocks on a rally.
Consumer Staple Stocks Take a Hit
Consumer Staples stocks suffered on Monday on concerns of rising commodity prices. This fuelled fears of inflation as commodities comprise a huge portion of costs for consumer staple products. Also copper prices hit its highest level in seven years. The fears of inflation weighed on the consumer staples sector, thus dragging down the stocks.
On the economic data front, the Commerce Department said that durable goods orders for March rose 0.5%, which was lower than analysts’ expectations of 2.2%. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft increased 0.9% in March.
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