The S&P 500 extended its gains for 2018 on Monday for a fifth straight day although its advance slowed to a crawl as the healthcare and financial sectors weighed and investors are waiting for the start of the quarterly earnings season.
The three major indexes mixed, with the S&P 500 jumping 0.19 percent, or 5.1 points, to 2744.8 on Monday. The indexes kicked off 2018 with their strongest first four days in more than a decade, according to Reuters data. The S&P 500 had their strongest starts since 2006.
For S&P 500 on Monday, the biggest gainers of the session were Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX), which rose 7.13 percent or 3.06 points to close at 46.00. Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE: KSS) gained 4.67 percent or 2.54 points to end at 56.90 and Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) was up 4.35 percent or 5.73 points to 137.45 in late trade.
However, the biggest losers included Biogen Inc (NASDAQ: BIIB), lost 3.75 percent or 12.84 points to end at 329.65, while L Brands Inc (NYSE: LB) declined 3.42 percent or 1.72 points to 48.64 and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: REGN) shed 3.27 percent or 12.58 points to close at 372.52.
The healthcare sector was the S&P’s worst performer on Monday, and investors remained cautious about pouring money into bank sector before the companies kick off the fourth-quarter earnings season later this week.
For the bank sector, Wells Fargo (WFC.N) and Citigroup (C.N) fell more than 1 percent while Goldman Sachs (GS.N) declined 1.5 percent. Most big U.S. lenders have estimated one-off charges to their fourth-quarter earnings on account of U.S. tax cuts.
Release of worse-than-forecasted jobs data seemed to have limited impacts on the stock market on last Friday, when the three major indexes had significant gains in response that investors showed positive attitudes towards future markets affected by tax cuts.
The U.S. Labor Department said on Friday that the economy added 148,000 jobs in non-farm sectors, which was lower than expected though. The employment rate, however, remained a lowest level of only 4.1 percent.
Under such a robust performance of the stock market, it’s quite hard to predict how far the stock will keep current momentum at this position, which is the historical high. It’s probably mainly affected by the influence of tax cuts on the market, and what monetary policies apply also needed to be concerned.
Figure 1: SPX500 Daily
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