Stocks were little changed on Monday after the major averages
made an impressive showing last week. Earnings season remains the
primary focus of investors amid a low-volatility atmosphere.
Overall, the market has started the year with a bang, with the
S&P 500 already tacking on more than 5 percent in January
alone. For the day, the Dow and S&P fell while the Nasdaq
recorded a small gain.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14 points, or 0.10
percent, to close at 13,882.
The S&P 500 lost a little less than 3 points, or 0.18
percent, to finish at 1,500.
The Nasdaq Composite added around 5 points, or 0.15 percent,
on the day to 3,154.
Three important domestic economic reports were released on
Monday morning -- durable goods orders, durable goods orders
ex-transportation and pending home sales. Durable goods orders
for December surged 4.6 percent after increasing 0.7 percent in
November. This was well above consensus estimates of an increase
of just 1.6 percent.
The primary factor for the sharp rise was aircraft orders.
Non-defense aircraft orders rose 10.1 percent and defense orders
were up 56.4 percent. Excluding transportation, durable goods
orders rose 1.3 percent in the month versus a gain of 1.2 percent
in November. This was also well ahead of consensus estimates
predicting flat growth.
Pending home sales for December were down 4.3 percent versus a
gain of 1.6 percent in November. This was below consensus
estimates that called for no change in pending home sales.
Crude oil was last trading moderately higher late on Monday.
NYMEX crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, had added 0.58 percent
to $96.44 while Brent crude contracts were up 0.08 percent to
$113.37. Natural gas traded sharply lower to start the week,
falling more than 4.60 percent to $3.28.
Gold and silver lost ground on Monday. At last check, COMEX
gold futures had shed 0.16 percent to $1,656 while silver
contracts were lower by 1 percent at $30.89. Copper futures had
risen 0.23 percent.
Both corn and wheat were positive late in the day, with corn
trading up better than 1 percent and wheat adding around 0.35
percent. The biggest mover in the soft commodity complex was
sugar which climbed almost 2 percent.
Around the close of equity trading, the iShares Barclays 20+
Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:
) had lost 0.33 percent to $117.64. The drop in bond prices
pushed yields slightly higher on the day.
While the 2-Year Treasury yield was unchanged, the 5-Year Note
yield was 2 basis points higher to 0.87 percent. The 10-Year Note
and 30-Year bond yields rose 2 and 1 basis point respectively, to
1.97 percent and 3.15 percent.
Near the close, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF
), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket
of foreign currencies, was up 0.05 percent to $21.79. The closely
watched EUR/USD pair was close to unchanged at $1.3456.
Most of the other major currency pairs were also trading near
the flat-line with the exception of the GBP/USD which had lost
around 0.65 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The VIX jumped on Monday despite little change in the major
averages. The volatility index rose more than 5 percent to
Volume was very light on a sleepy Monday for Wall Street. Only
around 100 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:
) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of more
than 138 million.
Battleground stock Herbalife (NYSE:
) fell around 8 percent on Monday after multilevel marketing firm
Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing had its
assets seized by the FTC
. The agency called the company a "classic pyramid scheme," an
accusation that hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has leveled
Fellow multilevel marketer Nu Skin (NYSE:
) also lost 5 percent on the news.
Shares of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:
) surged around 80 percent on Monday after the company said that
results from its Phase III study of a drug known as Zerenex
showed that it reduced serum phosphorus levels in patents with
end-stage renal disease on dialysis.
Struggling online gaming company Zynga (NASDAQ:
) jumped around 14 percent to close near the highs of the day.
While there was no obvious news behind the move, investors may be
speculating that Facebook (NASDAQ:
), the primary platform for Zynga's games, will report strong
quarterly earnings results on Wednesday.
Opko Health (NYSE:
) climbed more than 6 percent. The company's CEO Phil Frost is
scheduled to appear on Mad Money with Jim Cramer on Monday
) rose roughly 2 percent after the company released its quarterly
earnings results prior to the opening bell.
Jos. A. Bank (NASDAQ:
) plunged more than 15 percent on the session after releasing
disappointing quarterly results.
Printing companies 3D Systems (NYSE:
) and Stratasys (NASDAQ:
) were both sharply lower after a bearish Seeking Alpha article
suggested that there could be a bubble forming in
three-dimensional printing. 3D Systems shares lost around 14
percent while Stratasys fell almost 10 percent.
) rose a little better than 2 percent after falling more than 12
percent last week after the company's quarterly earnings.
) lost better than 4 percent on Monday after rallying more than
65 percent last week after a very bullish earnings report.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
Gain access to more investing ideas, tools & education.
Get Started on Marketfy, the first ever curated
& verified Marketplace for everything trading.