Stocks went nowhere to start the week after news out of the European banking on Sunday wasn’t much of a surprise while crude oil prices fell hard early in the session but recovered about $US1 of their losses during the day.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 16,825.2, +19.8, (+0.1%)
- S&P 500: 1,962.5, -2, (-0.1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,488, +4.1, (+0.1%)
And now, the top stories on Monday:
1. On Sunday, Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff was reelected, and the market did not take kindly to the news. Stocks on Brazil’s Ibovespa exchange fell 2.5% on Monday, though the ‘EWZ’ ETF that trades in New York and tracks Brazilian stocks lost about 5% following the news. Rouseff’s challenger, Aecio Neves, was considered the more business-friendly candidate. Among the notable losers following Rouseff’s election were shares of Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras, which saw shares trading in New York fall more than 13% on Monday.
2. Crude oil prices fell again on Monday, falling below $US80 a barrel early on Monday for the first time since June 2012. Throughout the day on Monday, crude recovered most of its losses, but the early morning drop in crude followed a research report out of Goldman Sachs over the weekend that saw the firm take its price target for oil down to $US70 a barrel by the second quarter of next year.
3. On Monday, markets were still digesting the results of the European Central Bank’s stress tests, which saw 25 of 130 banks fail the test, with banks from Italy having heavy representation among the banks that could need a capital injection under the ECB’s adverse scenario. Among the questions still lingering for investors is why the ECB elected not to include deflation as scenario under an “adverse” scenario.
4. In the US, we got some economic data from Markit Economics, which released its October flash PMI reading for the services sector, which came in at 57.3, a six-month low. Any reading above 50 for this report signals expansion. In a release, Markit said, “Service providers attributed higher levels of business activity to supportive domestic economic conditions and an associated upturn in incoming new work. However, in line with the trend for output levels, the rate of new business growth eased to a three-month low in October and was softer than the post-crisis high recorded in June.”
5. Pending home sales rose just 0.3% in September, up from a 1% decline in August, but a bit lighter than the 1% rise that was expected by economists. “Housing supply for existing homes was up in September 6% from a year ago, which is preventing prices from rising at the accelerated clip seen earlier this year,” said the National Association of Realtors’ Lawrence Yun. “Additionally, the current spectacularly low mortgage rates should help more buyers reach the market.”
6. In Europe, German business confidence fell to its lowest point since August 2012, with the October survey showing confidence falling to 103.2 this month, down from 104.7 in September and missing expectations for a 104.3 reading. Following the report, Claus Vistesen at Pantheon Macro said, “The headline German business confidence index continues to point to subdued growth ahead for the industrial sector in the euro area’s largest economy, with the decline in both the headline and expectations reinforcing the downtrend that began in April.”
7. GoPro shares were among the big losers on Monday, with the wearable camera company seeing its stock decline more than 9% on Monday, a move that follows a 9% decline on Friday. GoPro is set to release third quarter earnings after the market close on Thursday.
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