U.S. equities finished mixed, as early gains that came following comments from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that seemed to lift optimism of a U.S.-China trade deal were tempered by uncertainty over the outcome of the looming meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi. Treasury yields were higher and the U.S. dollar gained modest ground following a mostly better-than-expected read on durable goods orders. Crude oil prices added to last week’s sharp rebound on a bullish oil inventories report, and as the explosion and subsequent fire last week at a Pennsylvania refinery will result in its permanent shutdown. Gold was lower, paring a recent rally. News on the equity front surrounded earnings reports from FedEx, Micron Technology and General Mills.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined 11 points to 26,537, the S&P 500 Index inched 4 points (0.1%) lower to 2,914, while the Nasdaq Composite increased 25 points (0.3%) to 7,910. In moderate volume, 821 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.1 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil jumped $1.55 to $59.38 per barrel and wholesale gasoline gained $0.09 to $1.93 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price traded $14.20 lower to $1,409.24 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—ticked 0.1% higher to 96.17.
May preliminary durable goods orders dropped 1.3% month-over-month (m/m), compared to the Bloomberg estimate of a 0.3% decline and April’s downwardly-revised 2.8% drop. However, ex-transportation, orders were up 0.3% m/m, above forecasts of a 0.1% rise and compared to April’s downwardly-revised 0.1% dip. Moreover, orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, considered a proxy for business spending, rose 0.4%, compared to projections of a 0.1% gain, and the prior month’s figure was unrevised at a 1.0% decline.
The advance goods trade balance showed that the May deficit unexpectedly widened, coming in at $74.5 billion versus estimates of $71.8 billion. April’s deficit was unrevised at $72.1 billion.
Preliminary wholesale inventories were up 0.4% m/m for May, after April’s upwardly-revised 0.9% increase, and compared to expectations of a 0.5% rise.
The MBA Mortgage Application Index advanced 1.3% last week, following the prior week’s 3.4% decline. The gain came as a 3.2% increase in the Refinance Index more than offset a 0.9% decrease for the Purchase Index. The average 30-year mortgage rate fell 8 basis points (bps) to 4.06%.
Treasuries were lower, as the yield on the 2-year note was up 4 basis point at 1.77%, the yield on the 10-year note gained 5 bps to 2.04%, and the 30-year bond rate rose 3 bps to 2.56%.
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