The Dow and the S&P 500 hit fresh records on Monday as North Korea fears ebb following U.S. Secretary of Treasury Rex Tillerson’s announcement that the United States was looking for a peaceful solution for its problems with the Asian country. Further, investors focused on the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting. This gave rise to speculations that the Fed might start unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet which boosted the U.S. Treasury yields, leading to broad based gains for the financial sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,331.35, gaining 0.3%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) increased 0.2% to close at 2,503.87. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,454.64, increasing 0.1%. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,611 to 1,202. On the Nasdaq, advancers outnumbered decliners by 1,857 to 999. the CBOE VIX touched 9.88 — the lowest level since Aug 5..
Dow, S&P 500 Hit Fresh Records
The Dow added 63.01 points of Monday to end the session on a record high, registering its fifth record close on the trot and seven straight sessions of gains. Shares of Caterpillar Inc. CAT and General Electric Co. GE gained 2% and 2.2% respectively, contributing to the most of the gains for Dow. Caterpillar possesses a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 ended at a record, gaining 3.64 points to end above the 2500 level yet again. Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, seven ended in the positive territory with financials leading the advancers. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) was up around 1%. Further, the Nasdaq also hit an intraday record after adding 6.17 points.
North Korea Fears Ebb, Markets Gain Traction
Lingering geopolitical tensions with North Korea did not deter the investor sentiment anymore. Economists had earlier commented that investors have become immune to activities by North Korea and such fears have now ebbed. In an interview late Sunday U.S. Secretary of Treasury, Rex Tillerson announced that the United States was looking for a ‘peaceful solution’ for the problems with North Korea. He also commented that the United States would try to get North Korea in a ‘constructive, productive, dialogue.’ Such developments lifted the investor sentiment. However, the Republican leader also said that if such diplomatic resolutions fail, the United States would have to switch to military action as the last resort. Tillerson said that U.S. wants China to mount pressure on Pyongyang by curbing oil supply to North Korea and also wants Russia to reduce the number of foreign laborers it hires from North Korea.
In a separate interview to ABC News, White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster commented that North Korea must denuclearize as President Trump has clearly stated that such threats from Pyongyang to citizens of the United States would not be tolerated. Moreover, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley also warned North Korea of dire consequences if Kim Jong-un “keeps on with this reckless behavior.”
Investors Eye the Federal Open Market Committee Meeting
Market watchers are focused on the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting, scheduled to begin on Tuesday. Investors do not expect the Fed to raise interest rates due to inflation figures lingering below the targeted 2%. However, analysts do speculate the chances of Fed announcing plans to start unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Such speculations boosted U.S. Treasury yields. The benchmark 10-year yield and short-term two-year yield traded at 2.2% and 1.4%, respectively. This boded well for banks and boosted the overall financial sector.
Stocks That Made Headlines
Union Pacific Streamlines Operations to Improve Efficiency
Union Pacific Corporation UNP is constantly looking to increase efficiency for utilization of its resources in a better manner. (Read More)
Walgreens to Revisit Rite Aid Deal for Antitrust Approval
The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") seems to be getting harsher on drugstore chains Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. WBA and Rite Aid Corp. RAD, which have been trying to appease the regulatory body since its initial merger pact in 2015. (Read More)
FEMSA Cuts Stake in Heineken: Here's What Investors Must Know
Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. FMX or FEMSA divested 5.24% of its total stake in the Heineken Group for roughly 2.5 billion euros. (Read More)
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Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A.B. de C.V. (FMX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
General Electric Company (GE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Rite Aid Corporation (RAD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) : Free Stock Analysis Report
FT-LC GROWTH (FTC): ETF Research Reports
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