Europe, Tech Keeps Stocks in Check; U.S. Dollar Softens

Economic data on the U.S. housing market showed contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rebounded in June after three straight monthly declines, while other data showed Midwest factory activity slowed after hitting a three-month high in June.

“Maybe part of the reason why we’re flattish today, at least for the S&P, is that people are trying to figure out where the overall economy is going and the signs have been mixed,” said Ed Keon, managing director and portfolio manager at QMA, a multi-asset manager in Newark, New Jersey.

“If you look at broader picture, a lot of the data has been a little on the disappointing side.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60.88 points, or 0.28 percent, to 21,891.19, the S&P 500 lost 1.74 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,470.36 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 26.55 points, or 0.42 percent, to 6,348.12.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 rose for the fourth straight month.


Shares of world tobacco companies continued to lag, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed on Friday to cut nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels.

British American Tobacco fell 5 percent, after dropping 6.8 percent on Friday, and Imperial Brands fell 5.9 percent. In the U.S., Altria Group, off 2.4 and Philip Morris, down 0.9 were among the top drags on the S&P 500.

Mining companies in London advanced 0.34 percent, as copper hit a fresh two-year high after Chinese data showed that while manufacturing growth cooled slightly this month, a government infrastructure push kept construction moving.

Copper <CMCU3> rose 0.75 percent to $6,372.50 a tonne, having risen as high as $6,430.

The U.S. dollar hit a 2-1/2-year low against the euro on Monday on month-end portfolio adjustments and expectations for a more hawkish European Central Bank, and touched a more than six-week low against the yen on concerns over low U.S. inflation.

The dollar index fell 0.45 percent, with the euro <EUR=> up 0.74 percent to $1.1837. The dollar index hit a low of 92.786, its lowest level since May 2016, and has fallen for 5 straight months.

Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> last fell 1/32 in price to yield 2.2888 percent, from 2.287 percent late on Friday ahead of a heavy week of data, which will culminate in Friday’s employment report for July.

Oil prices climbed as news of a producers’ meeting next week added to bullish sentiment driven by the threat of U.S. sanctions against OPEC-member Venezuela.

U.S. crude <CLcv1> settled up 0.9 percent at $51.17 per barrel and Brent <LCOcv1> settled up 0.3 percent at $52.65 on the day.

(Additional reporting by Kimberly Chin; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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