Wall Street’s ‘Fear Gauge’ index touched its lowest level in almost two-decades on Monday after Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election. Macron’s victory helped to alleviate geopolitical concerns over France’s possible exit from the European Union. However, such a victory was widely anticipated and, as a result, all the three major indexes remained almost unchanged. Energy shares, meanwhile, registered gains due to uptick in oil prices.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 5.34 points to close at 21,012.28. The S&P 500 rose 0.09 points to a record close at 2,399.38, after hitting all-time intraday high of 2,401.23. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.90 points to a record close at 6,102.66. A total of around 6.3 billion shares were traded on Monday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.6 billion shares. Decliners outnumbered advancing stocks on the NYSE by a 1.23 to 1 ratio.
CBOE Volatility Index Hits Its Lowest Level
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) finished at its lowest level since December 1993. VIX registered a decline of 7.6% and fell to 9.77 following centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron’s win over his euro skeptic rival Marine Le Pen in the final round of the French presidential election. Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election on Sunday eased out geopolitical tensions regarding France’s exit from the European Union.
According to official tallies, Emmanuel Macron secured about 66.1% of the votes, compared to his rival Le Pen who secured 33.9% of vote. Earlier, Marine Le Pen had called for exiting the Euro, leading to fears of a possible “Frexit”. A Frexit would have caused significant geopolitical instability in the Euro zone as France is a key member of both the Eurozone and the European Union. Macron’s victory, which was widely expected,eliminated the prospect of such an outcome. This result lifted investor confidence in the U.S. which ultimately had a positive impact on the broader markets.
Oil Prices Increased
Oil prices continued to move north on Monday following a comment from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid Al-Falih at the Asia Oil and Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Khalid Al-Falih hinted about a possible extension of cuts in crude production by major oil producers including Russia. OPEC and non-OPEC members including Russia are expected to extend production cuts beyond this year.
WTI crude prices gained by $0.21, or 0.5%, to $46.43 a barrel. The broader Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) advanced 0.7%, emerging as one of the best performing sectors of S&P 500. Some of the key holdings of the energy sector in the S&P 500 including EOG Resources EOG, ConocoPhillips COP and Exxon Mobil Corp XOM gained by 0.9%, 0.8% and 1.1% respectively. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Stocks that made Headlines
AMC Entertainment Beats on Q1 Earnings and Revenues
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC reported strong financial results in the first quarter of 2017 wherein both the top line and the bottom line outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate. (Read More)
EOG Resources Q1 Earnings in Line, Revenues Beat
Upstream energy company EOG Resources Inc. reported first-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 15 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. (Read More)
Marriott Tops Q1 Earnings, Lifts ’17 View, Stock Up
Shares of Marriott International Inc. MAR rose nearly 5% in after-hour trading on May 8, after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter 2017 results. (Read More)
More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!
It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market.
Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2020. Click here for the 6 trades >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Marriott International (MAR): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (AMC): Free Stock Analysis Report
Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): Free Stock Analysis Report
EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG): Free Stock Analysis Report
ConocoPhillips (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research