Monday April 19th


Stock futures dip after Dow, S&P 500 close at record highs

U.S. stock index futures were lower on Monday, after the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs on Friday. Futures contracts tied to the Dow slid 75 points. S&P 500 futures shed 0.2%. Nasdaq-100 futures were flat. Bitcoin was slammed over the weekend after hitting an all-time high of $64,841 Wednesday morning, according to data from Coin Metrics. At one point, it was down 19% from that record over the weekend before recovering. The cryptocurrency was last at $56,794 on Monday. Tesla, a holder of bitcoin, was down 1.5% in premarket trading Monday. Coinbase, which just made its public debut last week, was down by 2% in early trading. Bank shares were lower in early trading Monday as investors continued to take profits following big earnings from the group last week. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup were all lower in premarket trading. Coca-Cola shares rose more than 1% in premarket trading after the consumer giant reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue. The company also said demand in March has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Stocks are coming off a week of gains as earnings topped estimates and strong economic data lifted the major averages. The S&P and Dow advanced 1.38% and 1.18% last week respectively for their fourth straight week of gains, while the Nasdaq Composite posted its third positive week in a row. Despite stocks trading around record levels, UBS on Friday lifted its forecast for the year. The firm now envisions the S&P 500 ending 2021 at 4,400, which is roughly 5% above where the benchmark index closed on Friday. “While investing at all-time highs may be daunting for some, we believe there is more upside ahead,” the firm wrote in a note to clients. “Following two rounds of stimulus deployed in the quarter and the ongoing vaccination effort, there is growing evidence that U.S. economic activity is picking up. The latest jobs data, business sentiment readings, and retail sales all point to a strong recovery.” The Russell 1000 Growth index has outperformed over the last month, gaining 10% compared to the Russell 1000 Value index’s 4% rise, clawing back some of the recent losses after a jump in yields sparked a rotation out of technology and growth-oriented areas of the market. Over the last three months value stocks are still outperforming, however, and Bank of America believes there’s more upside ahead for the group. On Friday analysts at the firm said to “stick with value,” noting that it still trades at a “steep discount vs. growth despite the recent strength.” On the coronavirus front, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expects the U.S. will resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration asked states last week to temporarily halt using the single dose vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” after six women developed a rare blood-clotting disorder. “My estimate is that we will continue to use it in some form,” Fauci said Sunday during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I doubt very seriously if they just cancel it. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I do think that there will likely be some sort of warning or restriction or risk assessment.” Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly rose on Monday, though India’s markets lagged as the country continues to see a surge in Covid-19 infections. Mainland Chinese stocks led gains among the region’s major markets, with the Shanghai composite up 1.49% on the day to 3,477.55 while the Shenzhen component surged 2.894% to 14,117.80. The broader Hang Seng index in the city rose 0.47% to close at 29,106.15. Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan closed little changed at 29,685.37 while the Topix index dipped 0.22% to end the trading day at 1,956.56. Japan’s exports in March surged 16.1% as compared with a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed Monday. That was much higher than the 11.6% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi closed largely flat at 3,198.84. Oil prices fell on Monday amid mounting concerns that surging caseloads of coronavirus infections in India and other countries will lead to stronger measures and hit economic activity, along with demand for commodities such as crude. Brent crude was down 43 cents, or 0.6%, at $66.34 a barrel by 0139 GMT, after rising 6% last week. U.S. oil was down 42 cents, or 0.7%, at $62.71 a barrel, having gained 6.4% last week. Gold prices scaled a more than seven-week peak on Monday as a softer dollar and lower U.S. Treasury yields lifted the yellow metal’s appeal even as the appetite for riskier assets remained strong. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,781.03 per ounce having earlier touched its highest since Feb. 25 at $1,789.77. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,781.90 per ounce.