The Dow Jones rally sputtered on Monday, culminating in an uninspiring 35 point advance on the day as the wider stock market turned lower.
Monday’s market hiccup indicated fading optimism, as positive developments in the trade war, Hong Kong, and Brexit all faced sober reevaluations.
Heading toward the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 34.94 points or 0.13%. The DJIA settled at 26,832.40 after briefly flashing session declines.
Stocks were unable to find any clear direction, as there was bad news out of Hong Kong over the weekend and the protests show no signs of slowing down.
This situation simply adds to the conflict between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, as rebels urged the US president to liberate their city, putting further pressure on already-tense US-China trade negotiations.
With Trump and Xi seemingly at an impasse, and Boris Johnson courting ways of flouting the UK Parliament’s new Brexit law, the risk barometer is creeping out of positive territory.
As a result, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both weak, notably underperforming the Dow. The S&P 500 declined 0.07% to 2,976.26, while the Nasdaq dipped 0.32% to 8,076.52.
While major stock indices look uneasy about pushing to fresh highs, plenty of analysts remain optimistic that this rally will have legs.
Writing for Nordea Markets, economists Martin Enlund, Andreas Steno Larsen, and Joachim Bernhardsen argue that the positivity in markets could reinforce a more substantial move into equities, as they state:
“As we see it, prices often create narratives, rather than vice-versa. The recent turn-around in fixed income – and move higher in equities – could fuel another green shoot narrative as the one we initially flagged in March.”
Ultimately, the team of analysts believes that though they have generally preferred havens, stocks could be in vogue for the next few weeks. They conclude that investors should consider taking on more risk assets.
“In short, it could be that the risk-rally has got some more legs, and that we’ll soon all be spoon-fed ideas on how the global business cycle may be turning a corner. We have loved haven assets (USD, CHF, JPY, precious metals, and Treasuries) for many months now, but it might be time to take on some more risky exposure over the next few weeks.”
The Dow 30 was all over the place on Monday, with large gains and equally-substantial losses keeping the index tracking sideways.
Walgreen’s was the top performer, pumping 5.4% while Caterpillar posted a 3.5% gain. Apple mustered a 0.53% advance, despite it being a generally soft day for tech stocks.
Exxon and Chevron both rallied more than 0.7% as crude oil surged in the wake of the new Saudi Arabian energy minister indicating that supply cuts would remain in place.
Merck, the pharmaceuticals supplier, was down sharply, shedding over 3.8% as drug makers took a sizable hit. Visa was also more than 2.5% lower despite announcing a new partnership with MoneyGram.
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