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4:01 p.m. ET: S&P 500, Nasdaq, Dow post record closing highs
Each of the three major domestic stock indices posted fresh closing highs at the end of Monday’s session, shrugging off some earlier choppiness as investors considered mixed signals over progress in a U.S.-China interim trade agreement.
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.05%, or 1.55 points
Dow (^DJI): +0.11%, or 31.26 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): +0.11%, or 9.11 points
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): -2 bps to 1.814%
Gold (GC=F): +0.25% to $1,472.10 per ounce
2:05 p.m. ET: Lawmakers urge US to tighten export controls amid China threat
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Cotton on Monday in a letter urged the U.S. government to add restrictions to limit the export of technologies to China the country could use to boost its military capabilities, Reuters reports.
1:46 p.m. ET: Boost Mobile founder willing to buy back brand from Sprint
Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton said he is willing to pay up to $2 billion to buy back the prepaid wireless brand from Sprint, Reuters reports.
1:39 p.m. ET: FTC chief says multiple tech investigations ongoing
Federal Trade Commission chair Joe Simmons said the FTC has multiple ongoing investigations in addition to its publicly-known probe of Facebook, but did not name the companies, Reuters reports.
12:40 p.m. ET: The 2020 outlook pits bulls vs bears
On the heels of a constructive assessment about 2020 from Goldman, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse have issued dueling analyses on next year’s growth outlook — with the former bearish while the latter is bullish.
12:07 p.m. ET: Markets dramatically unchanged
Stocks are hovering near breakeven in midday trading, as investors considered mixed signals over progress in a U.S.-China interim trade agreement.
Here were the main moves in markets:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): +0.01%, or 0.46 points
Dow (^DJI): +0.06%, or 16.62 points
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -0.04%, or 3.21 points
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): -2.7 bps to 1.807%
Gold (GC=F): +0.23% to $1,471.90 per ounce
11:50 a.m. ET: Huawei gets a break from Commerce
Huawei, caught in the crossfire of the U.S.-China trade war, will have its Temporary General License (TGL) extended by 90 days, the Commerce Department said in a statement. The TGL authorizes “specific, limited engagements in transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items” – and its extension may hint at a possible thaw between the warring sides.
11:32 a.m. ET: Ford (F) flat as electric car buzz revs up
The auto world was abuzz Monday over Ford’s new all-electric Mustang, the 116-year-old automaker’s first. The stylish Mustang Mach-E crossover, however, didn’t do much for Ford’s stock, which traded near breakeven near $9.
10:55 a.m. ET: Watch these 4 harbingers of growth: Goldman Sachs
In a new research note, Goldman lays out four reasons to expect a pickup in economic growth in 2020. The economists see real GDP growing at a 2.3% clip in early 2020 with an average full-year growth rate of 2.1% for 2020.
10:35 a.m. ET: The economy’s triumvirate meet
According to a statement by the Federal Reserve, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and President Donald Trump met on Monday to discuss the economy.
The statement read as follows:
“At the President's invitation, Chair Powell met with the President and the Treasury Secretary Monday morning at the White House to discuss the economy, growth, employment and inflation.
Chair Powell's comments were consistent with his remarks at his congressional hearings last week. He did not discuss his expectations for monetary policy, except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming information that bears on the outlook for the economy.
Finally, Chair Powell said that he and his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee will set monetary policy, as required by law, to support maximum employment and stable prices and will make those decisions based solely on careful, objective and non-political analysis.”
It should be noted that the meeting was not on the president’s official schedule, and was otherwise unknown to the public before the Fed issued its release. The president posted via Twitter that the meeting was productive and “cordial:”
Just finished a very good & cordial meeting at the White House with Jay Powell of the Federal Reserve. Everything was discussed including interest rates, negative interest, low inflation, easing, Dollar strength & its effect on manufacturing, trade with China, E.U. & others, etc.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2019
Recall that Trump is Powell’s chief critic on monetary policy, once suggesting he was perhaps a “bigger enemy” than China — and on another occasion said he lacked “guts.” Markets drift lower as traders try and read the U.S.-China tea leaves.
10:19 a.m. ET: Asbestos in JNJ’s baby powder? It’s ‘complicated’
Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) stock is nearly 1% lower in early trading, in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report that showed the company’s rush to test a sample of its baby powder for asbestos yielded mixed results. Last month, a recall was triggered after the FDA found traces of the poisonous substance in a bottle.
According to The Journal:
“...J&J’s push for a rapid turnaround contributed to results that were more complicated, a review of lab reports released by the company shows.
A Pennsylvania lab hired by J&J deviated from its normal process to meet J&J’s timetable, adding a testing room normally used to analyze gunshot residue in crime investigations, according to letters J&J received from the testing company and released. Initially, the lab found trace amounts of asbestos in some samples of Johnson’s Baby Powder but later determined that the second room was contaminated by an air-conditioning unit, according to the letters. Repeat tests in the lab’s normal testing room found no asbestos.
A second lab that J&J hired, in Georgia, told the company its preliminary testing found no asbestos. It hadn’t completed its tests when J&J announced on Oct. 29 that no traces of asbestos were found, a letter from that lab shows.”
The full story can be found on the WSJ’s website (a subscription might be required).
10:00 a.m. ET: Housing market holding up, NAHB data shows
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) preliminary November data showed the index checking in at 70, a hair below expectations of 71. The survey, which takes the pulse of the single-family housing market, asks respondents to rate market conditions for the sale of new homes at the present time, as well as in the next six months.
9:57 a.m. ET: Millennial health a growing concern: Moody’s
The declining health of the millennial generation could have a serious impact on the U.S. health care system, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Index data analyzed by Moody’s. “Without intervention, millennials could feasibly see mortality rates climb up by more than 40% compared to Gen-Xers at the same age,” the analysis states.
9:50 a.m. ET: S&P as leading indicator of US growth?
In a research note published Monday, Goldman Sachs noted that the S&P 500 Index’s 9% surge over the last few months bodes well for the U.S. economy, and certain sectors. Because cyclical stocks have outperformed their defensive counterparts, the bank notes:
“The relative performance of Cyclicals vs. Defensives suggests the equity market is anticipating an acceleration in U.S. economic growth during the coming months. Investors who want to capture further cyclical upside can improve risk-reward by narrowing their focus to select cyclical stocks.
Our screen of 24 Russell 1000 stocks with high economic sensitivity but still-depressed valuations should outperform the market and other cyclicals if economic growth continues to improve.”
9:30 a.m. ET: Wall Street flat to weaker at the opening bell
Markets pulled back on Monday from last week’s record highs, as investors digest progress (or lack thereof) between the U.S. and China on trade talks. A report from CNBC suggested the mood in Beijing is pessimistic, as a rollback of existing tariffs remains a sticking point between the two sides.
Here’s where the major benchmarks opened the session:
S&P 500 (^GSPC): -5 points, or -0.16%
Dow (^DJI): 4.8 points, or flat
Nasdaq (^IXIC): -24.09 points, or -0.28%
10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): -0.02 bps to 1.996%
WTI crude oil prices: (CL=F): -0.71% to $57.31 per barrel
Gold (GC=F): flat at $1,469.30 per ounce