Financial shares helped to nudge the market a tick higher on Monday, underpinned by a steepening of the yield curve. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite tacked on 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively, but the Dow underperformed, shedding 0.1%. Action was range-bound, with the S&P 500 keeping between -0.2% and +0.2%.
Most sectors finished Monday in negative territory -- eight of eleven to be exact -- but losses were modest for the most part, and the three top-performing groups -- financials, technology, and health care -- just so happen to be heavily-weighted, comprising over 50% of the broader market combined.
The financial sector easily finished atop the sector standings, rallying 1.3%. Its outperformance came amid a sell off in the U.S. Treasury market that resulted in a five-point jump in the 2-10 spread; the 2-yr yield climbed two basis points to 2.62%, and the benchmark 10-yr yield shot up seven basis points to 2.97% -- its highest level in over a month.
Meanwhile, the technology sector finished in second place with a gain of 0.5%, and the health care space added 0.2%. The tech sector got off to a slow start, losing as much as 0.6%, but chipmakers helped lead an intraday rebound. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index was down 1.8% at the opening bell, but finished with a gain of 0.2%.
On the downside, industrials (-0.6%) and utilities (-0.6%) finished at the bottom of the sector standings. Within the industrial space, Illinois Tool Works (ITW 136.26, -10.60) tumbled 7.2% after an in-line earnings report was overshadowed by worse-than-expected guidance for the fiscal year.
In other earnings news, oilfield-services company Halliburton (HAL 41.54, -3.66) dropped 8.1% after reporting below-consensus profits, but toymaker Hasbro (HAS 106.04, +12.11) spiked 12.9% after beating both top and bottom line estimates. The two names were the worst-performing and best-performing S&P 500 components, respectively.
It's also worth noting that President Trump responded to a warning from Iranian president Rouhani with a warning of his own, tweeting that Iran will "suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before" if it threatens the U.S. again.
Reviewing Monday's economic data, which was limited to Existing Home Sales for June:
- Existing home sales decreased 0.6% in June to an annualized rate of 5.38 million units (Briefing.com consensus 5.45 million). The May reading was revised to 5.41 million (from 5.43 million).
- The key takeaway from the report remains the same: notable supply constraints continue to act as a drag on overall sales. The limited inventory -- and the high prices on available inventory -- is crimping affordability, particularly for first-time buyers; moreover, all prospective buyers are feeling affordability pressures from home prices rising faster than income.
On Tuesday, investors will receive the FHFA Housing Price Index for May.
- Nasdaq Composite +13.6% YTD
- Russell 2000 +10.6% YTD
- S&P 500 +5.0% YTD
- Dow Jones Industrial Average +1.3% YTD