The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) put up modest gains on Monday, as the combination of trade-deal optimism and better than expected data prevented an extension of last week’s slump.
DJIA settled up 0.1% at 26,949.99.
AXP rose 1.2% after American Express’ board of directors approved the repurchase of up to 120 million shares. The authorization replaces the 41-million-share buyback approved in 2016.
Shares of Nike rose 1.2% ahead of the apparel maker’s fiscal first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday. Analysts are forecasting per-share earnings of 71 cents on revenue of $10.43 billion, according to Barron’s.
McDonald’s outperformed the Dow index despite paring gains in the final hour of trading. The fast-food chain registered gains of 1%, bringing its yearly returns to almost 20%.
Red-hot PG continued higher on Monday, rising 0.8%. The consumer products bellwether is in the midst of a yearlong rally that has far exceed the broader U.S. stock market.
Apple was also a top-performer Monday as investors rallied behind the launch of the new iPhone 11. The latest iteration of the leading smartphone went on sale Friday. Despite concerns over slowing China sales, Apple’s latest smartphone is expected to be a major revenue generator in the fourth quarter. The stock finished up 0.5%.
Even in the absence of direct trading catalysts, UnitedHealth was the Dow’s biggest laggard, falling 1.7%. UNH has been rangebound for going on one month and is among the Dow’s worst performers this year.
Shares of WBA fell 1.2% on Monday, as the drugmaker struggled to keep pace with the broader market. WBA has underperformed the Dow by a significant margin over the past 52 weeks.
Pfizer, a leading dividend play in the healthcare sector, declined 1.2% on Monday following news that it will spin out Upjohn, one of its oldest drug subsidiaries. According to JPMorgan, PFE might not be worth its price tag after the spinoff.
MRK was down 0.9% on Monday, as investors shrugged off FDA approvals of two of the company’s HIV drugs. Merck is down slightly over the past month but has returned 11% year-to-date.