Tomorrow will bring a crucial vote in U.K. parliament that will determine the fate of the current agreement between the U.K. and European Union (EU) to bring an end the U.K.’s 46-year participation in the EU. Markets seems less than thrilled about the vote, with most of Europe, Asia and the U.S. modestly selling off. However, a late rally in the U.K. pushed stocks into the green. U.S. Economic data did little to lift spirits with leading economic indicators (LEI) falling in September. The Treasury curve steepened as the weak reading from LEIs reinforce the market’s expectation that the Fed will need to cut rates further. Consequently, the dollar is lower as reduced carry, a measure of short-term interest rate differentials, seems to be outweighing the currency’s safe-haven status. Earnings continued to pile in; American Express beat estimates, but seemed to spook investors with news from its corporate credit card portfolio. Coca-Cola posted results mostly in-line with expectations, but raised it full year guidance. Crude oil and gold were lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 256 points (1.0%) to 26,770, the S&P 500 Index declined 12 points (0.4%) to 2,986 and the Nasdaq Composite decreased 67 points (0.8%) to 8,089. In moderate volume, 860 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.0 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil moved $0.15 lower to $53.78 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was flat at $1.62 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price declined $4.20 to $1,494.10 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies— fell 0.3% to 97.27. Markets were mixed for the week, as the DJIA lost 0.2%, the S&P 500 Index gained 0.6% and the Nasdaq Composite increased 0.4%.
The Conference Board’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for September dipped 0.1% month-over-month (m/m) versus the Bloomberg projection of a flat reading and compared to August’s negatively-revised reading of a 0.2% m/m decline. Weakness in the manufacturing sector and the yield curve were offset by positive contributions from the credit, stock prices and jobless claims components of the index.
The report completes the week’s docket that has been fairly light. As such, Q3 earnings season has grabbed the lion’s share of attention, while global events have also acquired increased focus, particularly on the U.S.-China trade front and any Brexit developments. Investors may eye this weekend’s vote in Parliament to accept the deal cobbled together by U.K. and European Union (EU) negotiators.
The Treasury curve steepened with the yield on the 2-year note down 3 basis points (bps) to 1.57%, the 10-year yield flat at 1.74% and the 30-year yield up 1 bp to 2.25%. Yields remain historically low and very sensitive to economic data. Additionally, yields are constrained by a massive amount of negative yielding debt internationally.
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