The S&P 500 declined 0.28% and the Dow was lower by 0.13%. While the market was quiet there were areas of movement. European markets declined by more than 0.80%, crude posted another 1% loss and nears $90 a barrel, and an index that contains all the largest miners throughout the world (Dow Jones STOXX Basic Resources) gained more than 2%.
Staples, utilities, and semi equipment were leaders today while homebuilders, telecom, transports, and REITs were the lagging groups. Telecom saw profit taking in Verizon and AT&T, while another high dividend paying group, utilities, rose. Disappointing earnings from truckers hurt transports. CVS was a standout in the staples area.
The ISM nonmanufacturing index increased 1.0 point in October to 55.4. This was a stronger than expected headline number and the underlying details were strong also. The employment index increased 3.5 points to 56.2 on October, still below the August peak of 57.0.
Microsoft and Cisco Systems were standouts in the tech sector. Microsoft gained 1.8% and has seen significant improvement technically in recent sessions. Positive analyst comments regarding Cisco ahead of earnings moved the stock higher.
Airlines saw some profit taking. AMR Corp declined 1.5% after gaining 32% over the past two sessions. Truckers were lower after Expeditors reported disappointing earnings.
Energy was mixed. Overall the sector traded in line with the market. Weatherford was a standout in the sectors moving to new highs after posting a gain of 3%.
Media continues to be volatile. Some cable stocks spiked higher on relatively weak earnings reports last week due to rumored merger activity. Some of those gains were given back today on reports that merger talks are not currently taking place. Broadcasting stocks were higher on strong earnings reports.
The consumer space outperformed the broader market with staples leading discretionary. Conagra and Energizer led the staples higher. Michael Kors and Starbucks were leaders in the discretionary space. Michael Kors released stronger numbers from their licensing business and spiked by more than 5%. Starbucks continues to gain after last week’s earnings release and posted a gain of more the 2%.
Source: PFS Group