Charles Schwab: On the MarketPosted: 5/15/2017 4:15 PM ET
Rise in Crude Oil Prices Fuel Market Gains
U.S. equities finished higher, as upbeat homebuilder sentiment and a jump in crude oil prices on optimism of extended production cuts overshadowed heightened geopolitical concerns toward North Korea, a global cyber-attack over the weekend, and more disappointing Chinese economic data. Treasury yields ticked higher, as did gold, while the U.S. dollar lost ground.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 85 points (0.4%) to 20,982, the S&P 500 Index added 11 points (0.5%) to 2,402, and the Nasdaq Composite increased 28 points (0.5%) to 6,150. In moderate volume, 849 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil increased $1.01 to $48.85 per barrel and wholesale gasoline added $0.02 to $1.60 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price moved $2.34 higher to $1,230.70 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.3% lower at 98.92.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO $173) announced an agreement to acquire Patheon NV (PTHN $35) for $35.00 per share in cash, for about $7.2 billion, including the assumption of $2.0 billion in debt. TMO was modestly higher, while shares of PTHN rallied over 30%.
Moody's Corporation (MCO $116) announced an agreement to acquire Amsterdam-based business information provider Bureau van Dijk for about $3.3 billion. MCO finished higher.
Energy stocks saw gains to propel the markets as crude oil prices rallied after Saudi Arabia and Russia said they are in favor of extending production cuts until March 2018, longer than the six month extension that had been expected by the markets. Also, internet security companies got a boost from a cyber-attack that affected dozens of countries over the weekend. For a look at energy and all other major sectors see, Schwab's Director of Market and Sector Analysis, Brad Sorensen's, CFA, latest Schwab Sector Views: Is Energy an Opportunity or a Trap? on the Markets & Economy page at www.schwab.com and follow Schwab on Twitter: @schwabresearch.
Homebuilder sentiment surprisingly improves, regional manufacturing report misses
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index showed homebuilder sentiment this month improved to 70—the second highest reading since 2005—from 68 in April, where the Bloomberg forecast called for it to remain. A 50 mark separates good and poor conditions. The NAHB said the report shows the builders' optimism in the housing market is solidifying, even as they deal with higher building material costs and shortages of lots and labor.
Tomorrow, we will get a look at housing construction activity in the form of April housing starts and building permits. Starts are forecasted to rebound from a four-month low in March, rising 3.7% month-over-month (m/m) to an annual rate of 1,260,000 units. Permits are projected to tick 0.2% higher to an annual rate of 1,270,000 units. As noted in the latest Schwab Market Perspective: Sell in May…or Settle In?, after a long downturn, we're starting to see an encouraging uptick in both home ownership and household formations. This suggests that consumer confidence is starting to translate into some economy-boosting action. Read more on the Markets & Economy page at www.schwab.com. In addition, the other item on tomorrow's docket will be the Federal Reserve's industrial production and capacity utilization report, forecasted to show production rose 0.4% m/m during April following the 0.5% increase seen in March, while utilization is expected to have ticked higher to 76.3% from the 76.1% registered the month prior.
The Empire Manufacturing Index showed output from the New York region surprisingly dropped into contraction territory (a reading below zero) for May. The index fell to -1.0 from April's unrevised 5.2 level, with forecasts calling for a 7.5 reading.
Treasuries are dipping, with the yield on the 2-year note little changed at 1.30%, while the yields on the 10-year note and the 30-year bond are ticking 1 basis point higher to 2.33% and 3.00%, respectively. For analysis of the bond markets, see our article, Mixed Signals: What Does Recent Economic Data Mean for Bonds?, on the Insights & Ideas page at www.schwab.com. Follow Schwab on Twitter: @schwabresearch. Also, Schwab's Vice President of Trading and Derivatives, Randy Frederick and Chief Fixed Income Strategist, Kathy Jones offer the video, Fed Rate-Hike Cycle: How Can Bond Investors Prepare? on the Insights & Ideas page at www.schwab.com. Follow Randy and Kathy on Twitter: @randyafrederick and @kathyjones.
Finally, focus on the political front remains, and Schwab's Chief Global Investment Strategist Jeffrey Kleintop, CFA, discusses What the Coming Tax Cuts Mean for the Stock Market on the Markets & Economy page at www.schwab.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffreykleintop. Moreover, see the video from Schwab's Randy Frederick and Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Michael T. Townsend titled, Washington Overview: Budget Deals, Tax Reform, and Trump's 100-Day Mark, on the Insights & Ideas page at www.schwab.com.
Europe mostly higher despite lingering uncertainties
European equities finished mostly higher, with markets shrugging off another round of softer-than-expected Chinese economic data, a global cyber-security attack, and global trade concerns. Oil & gas issues lent support amid a rally in crude oil prices on optimism about extended global oil production cuts. Political uncertainty remained, with Germany holding regional elections ahead of a national election later this year, while Brexit negotiations continue and as an election looms in Italy later this year. For analysis of the political uncertainty see Schwab's Jeffrey Kleintop's, CFA, and Randy Frederick's video, Political Risk: How Should Investors Respond? on the Insights & Ideas page at www.schwab.com, where you can also find our article, Brexit Begins: What's Next for the U.K?, while Director of International Research, Michelle Gibley CFA, offers her article, Europe Votes: Could More Countries Reject the EU? on the International Investing page at www.schwab.com. The euro and British pound were higher as the U.S. dollar saw some pressure, while bond yields in the region gained ground.
Stocks in Asia finished mostly higher, with oil prices rallying sharply on optimism of extended production cuts. The markets showed some relative resiliency in the face of heightened geopolitical concerns in the face of another missile test by North Korea, along with another round of softer-than-expected Chinese economic data. The markets also appeared to shrug off lingering trade concerns and news of a global cyber-security attack. China's industrial production, fixed asset investment and retail sales al missed expectations for April. The data followed late-Friday's stronger-than-expected reads on new yuan loans and aggregate financing—a gauge of total credit issued—with mainland Chinese stocks and those traded in Hong Kong both gaining ground, aided by that nation's release of infrastructure spending plan. Markets in India rose, with some cooler-than-anticipated inflation figures late-Friday boosting optimism that the Reserve Bank of India may have room to cut rates, per Bloomberg. Meanwhile, securities in Japan dipped, paring losses as the yen showed some weakness, while South Korean equities moved higher and those listed in Australia finished flat,. For analysis of the global front amid the backdrop of trade and geopolitical uncertainty, see Schwab's Jeffrey Kleintop's, CFA, articles, Missiles and Markets: An investor guide to geopolitical risks on the Markets & Economy page at www.schwab.com, as well as, Top Five Trade Issues Investors Should Be Watching on the International Investing page at www.schwab.com.
Tomorrow's international economic calendar will include the Tertiary index and retail sales from Japan, CPI from France, GDP from Italy, the Zew Economic Sentiment Survey from Germany, GDP and the trade balance from the Eurozone, and CPI, PPI, the Retail Price index and housing prices from the U.K.