Stocks closed nearly flat amid a sell off in energy stocks and crude oil. Trading volumes were lighter than usual, and the bond market was shut for Columbus Day.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,122.27, +37.78, (0.22%)
- S&P 500: 2,016.43, +1.54, (0.08%)
- Nasdaq: 4,837.38, +6.91, (0.14%)
And now, Monday’s top stories:
- West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped 4% to as low as $US47.06. After topping $US50 per barrel last week for the first time in two months, futures slumped together with oil stocks, including Chesapeake (~-7%) and Transocean (~-8%).
- In oil-related news, OPEC’s monthly report released Monday showed that its 12 members led by Saudi Arabia continue to gush oil. OPEC also forecast a drop in US oil output for the first time in eight years in 2016. And, Goldman Sachs analysts reiterated their “lower for longer” call on oil prices, in a client note Monday.
- Dell announced the biggest tech deal ever with its $US67 billion-acquisition of EMC. EMC shareholders will receive $US24.05 per share in cash plus tracking stock linked to EMC’s interest in VMware. The deal combines “the industry’s leading innovators in digital transformation, software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, converged infrastructure, mobile and security”, according to the statement.
- Etsy shares tumbled 10% to within 25 cents of their all-time low. Last Thursday, the stock dropped 5% as Amazon launched Amazon Handmade, a rival in the online craft marketplace, which analysts had said could soften Etsy’s revenues. The stock received a new “Sell” rating on Monday from James Cakmak at Monness Crespi Hardt.
- Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize for Economics. He’s a 69-year-old Scottish-American professor of economics at Princeton University. His past work focused on issues including inequality, and the links between income and consumption. “To design economic policy that promotes welfare and reduces poverty, we must first understand individual consumption choices,” the citation from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science read. “More than anyone else, Angus Deaton has enhanced this understanding.”