S&P 500 and the Nasdaq eking out record closes
The major U.S. indices ended in positive territory on Monday, 15 May 2017 with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq eking out record closes. The Dow finished at tick behind its peers. Investors shook off concerns surrounding this weekend's cyber security attack from the jump, pushing the stock market higher at the opening bell. From there, the energy sector carried the S&P 500 to its best mark of the day as crude oil rallied on news that Saudi Arabia and Russia are in favor of extending the original OPEC/non-OPEC supply cut agreement.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 85.33 points, or 0.4%, to close at 20,981.94. The S&P 500 index added 11.42 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 2,402.32. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 28.44 points, or 0.5%, to end at 6,149.67.
Cisco Systems and Johnson & Johnson were the top performers, both gaining more than 2%.
Among economic reports expected for the day, investors received May Empire Manufacturing and May Net Long-Term TIC Flows. The Empire Manufacturing Survey for May declined to -1.0 from the prior month's reading of 5.2. The consensus estimate was pegged at 7.5. The key takeaway from this report is that manufacturing activity in the New York Fed region slowed in May, which will create a dent in some of the lofty second quarter growth expectations.
China's President Xi Jinping over the weekend said there will be more than $100 billion in fresh financing in support for the initiative, a bid to link regions via infrastructure projects that is seen as a bid to reshape the geopolitical world order by casting China as the protector of globalization.
Oil prices settled at a two-week high on Monday, 15 May 2017 at Nymex. Prices rose after energy ministers from Saudi Arabia and Russia released a joint statement backing a nine-month extension of OPEC-led production cuts. But prices finished below earlier highs above $49 after a month report from the Energy Information Administration revealed expectations for a monthly climb in U.S. shale oil production.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June West Texas Intermediate crude rallied $1.01, or 2.1%, to settle at $48.85 a barrel, the highest settlement since April 28. July Brent on London's ICE Futures exchange gained 98 cents, or 1.9%, to end at $51.82.
The cut would keep current output caps in place through the first quarter of 2018 if agreed to by all parties at the coming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on May 25.
Geopolitical uncertainty also continues to hang over the market. North Korea over the weekend tested another ballistic missile over the Sea of Japan on Sunday, seen as a direct challenge to the newly elected president of South Korea, Moon Jae-in.
Bullion prices ended higher at Comex on Monday, 15 May 2017. Gold settled at a nearly two-week high on Monday after more show of nuclear strength from North Korea finding traction after weekend comments from China about a boost in infrastructure projects.
Gold for June rose by $2.30, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,230 an ounce. That was the highest finish since 3 May 2017. July silver rose 20.1 cents or 1.2%, to $16.603 an ounce.
North Korea said Monday it had successfully conducted a newly developed mid- to long-range missile test on Sunday aimed at verifying the capability to carry a large scale heavy nuclear warhead,.
Commodities were also supported as the ICE U.S. Dollar Index which measures the greenback's value versus euro, yen and four other major currencies, was down 0.3%.
In the bond market, Treasuries ended slightly lower with the 10-yr yield climbing one basis point to 2.34%.
Tomorrow, investors will receive April Housing Starts (consensus 1.255 million) and April Industrial Production (consensus 0.3%). The two reports will cross the wires at 8:30 ET and 9:15 ET, respectively.
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