Here’s What Helped Monday’s Minor Market Moves

Stocks held close to the breakeven level on Monday in the absence of any economic reports.

Stocks began the week in a relatively quiet mode on Veteran’s Day, as the lack of any important economic data resulted in modest moves by the major stock market indices. Nevertheless, any increase at all was guaranteed to send the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) to a new record-high close, since it closed at a record high on Friday.

The Dow picked up 21 points to finish Monday’s trading session at a new record-high close of 15,783 for a 0.14 percent advance. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) rose 0.07 percent to 1,771. The Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) dipped 0.07 percent to finish at 3,362. The Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) advanced 0.14 percent to 1,101.

In other major markets, oil (NYSEARCA:USO) surged 0.74 percent to close at $34.26. On London’s ICE Futures Europe Exchange, December futures for Brent crude oil advanced $1.23 (1.17 percent) to $106.26/bbl. (NYSEARCA:BNO). December gold futures declined $2.30 (0.18 percent) to $1,282.30 per ounce (NYSEARCA:GLD). Transports maintained their cruising altitude on Monday, with the Dow Jones Transportation Average (NYSEARCA:IYT) climbing 0.49 percent.

In Japan, the exchange rate for the yen remained as the dominant factor in stock market activity. Japanese stocks soared on Monday as the yen weakened. A weaker yen causes Japanese exports to be less competitively priced in foreign markets. The exchange rate for the yen weakened to 99.01 per dollar during the last hour of trading in Tokyo (NYSEARCA:FXY). Honda shares surged 1.68 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 1.30 percent to 14,269 (NYSEARCA:EWJ).

In China, reports that the government is investing in railroads helped stocks break a 3-day losing streak. The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.16 percent to 2,109 (NYSEARCA:FXI). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.43 percent to end the day at 23,069 (NYSEARCA:EWH).

Stocks advanced in Europe with reports of a number of mergers in the biotech sector. The Euro STOXX 50 Index finished Monday’s session with a 0.59 percent surge to 3,052 — climbing further above its 50-day moving average of 2,949. Its Relative Strength Index is 59.83 (NYSEARCA:FEZ).

Technical indicators revealed that the S&P 500 climbed further above its 50-day moving average of 1,713 after finishing Monday’s session with a 0.07 percent advance to 1,771. Its Relative Strength Index rose from 61.36 to 61.72. Although the MACD remains below the signal line, it is on a level trajectory, suggesting that the S&P 500 could remain in the 1,770 range during the immediate future.

On Monday, five sectors finished in positive territory and four sectors finished in the red.

Consumer Discretionary (NYSEARCA:XLY): +0.16 percent
Technology: (NYSEARCA:XLK): +0.06 percent
Industrials (NYSEARCA:XLI): -0.16 percent
Materials: (NYSEARCA:XLB): -0.02 percent
Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE): +0.21 percent
Financials: (NYSEARCA:XLF): +0.02 percent
Utilities (NYSEARCA:XLU): -0.03 percent
Health Care: (NYSEARCA:XLV): +0.24 percent
Consumer Staples (NYSEARCA:XLP): -0.40 percent

Bottom line: The absence of any economic reports or significant corporate earnings reports resulted in minor moves by the major stock market indices on Monday.

John Nyaradi is the author of The ETF Investing Premium Newsletter.

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