Stocks finished mixed ahead of tomorrow’s mid-term election results, as tech was lower amid fallout from last week’s earnings from Dow member Apple, in spite of the services sector continuing to show solid expansion. Treasury yields were mostly lower and the U.S. dollar was down, prior to Thursday’s Fed statement. Crude oil reversed to the downside as Iranian sanctions were reinstated and gold finished lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 191 points (0.8%) to 25,462, the S&P 500 Index increased 15 points (0.6%) to 2,738, and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 28 points (0.4%) to 7,328. In heavy volume, 0.9 billion shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.1 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil fell $0.35 to $62.79 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was $0.03 lower at $1.68 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price decreased $1.96 to $1,230.93 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was 0.2% lower at 96.31.
The October Institute for Supply Management (ISM) non-Manufacturing Index dipped to 60.3 from September’s 61.6 level, and versus the Bloomberg forecast of a drop to 59.0. A reading above 50 denotes expansion. New orders and business activity expansion both remained levels north of 60, and employment growth rose to 59.7. Prices ticked higher to 57.6. Non-manufacturing activity accounts for a large majority of U.S. economic output and the ISM said overall, the respondents were positive about current business conditions and the economy, but some commented that tariffs and transport capacity shortages are continuing to impact business.
Treasuries were mostly higher, as the yield on the 2-year note was flat, the 10-year note rate increased 1 basis point (basis point) to 3.20%, and the 30-year bond rate increased 2 bps to 3.43%.
Tomorrow night’s mid-term election results will garner attention for clues on the future balance of power in Washington. However, the headlining event will likely come in the form of Thursday’s conclusion of the November Fed meeting. Although there will be no press conference or updated economic projections from the Fed, scrutiny will remain regarding whether it will remain on the current path to policy normalization.
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