The S&P 500 (SPX) started broadly higher Monday following news President Biden had nominated Jerome Powell for a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve and boosted Lael Brainard into the vice chair role. Quite an odd couple, to be fair; this should be interesting, says Jon Markman, growth-stock specialist and editor of Strategic Advantage.
Tech stocks saw the biggest early gains, however, sellers dominated in the midday and soon the tech-heavy Nasdaq (IXIC) was solidly red. That reversal eventually led to profit-taking for the benchmark S&P 500. The index closed at 4,683, a loss of 0.3%.
While the finish was disappointing, I'm not concerned about a change in trend to bearish. Seasonally, bulls are in full control.
There is important support at 4,645. I expect buyers to resurface at that level. If they don’t, we'll make a new plan.
The Dow (DJI) was little changed at 35,619.25, and the Nasdaq fell 1.3% to 15,854.76, with all three major market indexes reversing gains earlier in the day.
Energy, financials, consumer staples, and utilities fared best, while communication services and technology lagged.
Markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will close early on Friday.
Breadth slightly favored decliners 5-3, and there were 467 new highs vs 715 new lows. Big caps on the new high list included Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Nvidia (NVDA), The Home Depot (HD), and Costco (COST).
The 10-year US Treasury yield rose nine basis points to 1.63%.
"Both Powell or Brainard would likely maintain the asset reduction pathway previously discussed and move on to rate hikes by the end of 2022," Stifel Chief Economist, Lindsey Piegza, said in a research note Monday. "A rise in inflation expectations, nevertheless, indicates market players are less convinced the Fed—regardless of whom is at the helm—will move at an appropriate pace to quell the upward momentum."
West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.6% to $76.36 per barrel after dropping to a six-week low last week.
US existing home sales increased unexpectedly in October, rising 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.34 million despite limited inventory, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday. The median sales price was up 13% in a year to $353,900.
Shares of Moderna (MRNA) jumped 7.2%, extending Friday's gains after the US Food and Drug Administration authorized Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for all adults.
Astra Space (ASTR) shares surged 17% after the rocket builder said it successfully completed its first commercial orbital launch with a test payload for the US Space Force.
Just a quick update today. We'll see you again tomorrow, but will take Thursday and Sunday off for the holiday. Hope you enjoy the day of thanks with your families; I am grateful as always for your interest and support for our work on markets.