U.S. equities began the new week on a down note amid heightened geopolitical concerns after a Saudi Arabian oil facility was attacked over the weekend, which in turn sent crude oil prices soaring. Market participants also awaited the monetary policy decisions out of the U.S., the U.K. and Japan, and global growth concerns persisted following some disappointing Chinese economic data. Treasury yields fell, giving back some of a recent jump, and the U.S. dollar was higher, with a read on regional manufacturing activity slowing more than expected but remained in expansion territory, while gold gained ground. In equity news, GM was in focus after the United Auto Workers announced a strike, while Burlington Stores announced the resignation of its CFO.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 143 points (0.5%) to 27,077, the S&P 500 Index lost 10 points (0.3%) to 2,998 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 23 points (0.3%) to 8,154. In moderately-heavy volume, 909 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 1.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil rallied $8.04 $62.90 per barrel and wholesale gasoline jumped $0.20 to $1.75 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price increased $11.19 to $1,499.72 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was up 0.4% at 98.61.
The Empire Manufacturing Index showed output from the New York region decelerated more than expected but remained in expansion territory (a reading above zero) for September. The index declined to 2.0 from August’s unrevised 4.8 level, with the Bloomberg forecast calling for a decline to 4.0.
Treasuries rose after last week’s drop, as the yield on the 2-year note declined 4 basis points (bps) to 1.75%, while the yields on the 10-year note and the 30-year bond dropped 6 bps to 1.84% and 2.31%, respectively.
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