Shares of utility companies and other dividend-paying stocks led the S&P 500 higher following tepid U.S. economic data. Technology stocks erased early gains.
Stock volatility is near a two-decade low and corporate profits have bounced back from a year ago, but investors are increasingly moving to protect themselves from big swings in financial markets. Long-term U.S. government bond yields, which move opposite to price, fell to fresh lows for this year on Monday, the latest sign of investors’ skepticism about economic growth. Meanwhile, utility stocks, often a refuge for nervous investors, have rallied this year, with another move up Monday helping to lift the broader market.
Futures pointed to a mixed open for markets in Asia on Monday following the mixed lead from Wall Street.