Market Wrap for Monday, July 29: Stocks Record Moderate Losses to Start Trading Week
U.S. stocks traded lower on Monday, although the losses were fairly modest.
The lone economic report on the day's docket was pending home sales for June, which came in better than expected. Treasury prices were lower on the day while the U.S. Dollar was largely unchanged.
Investors will continue to focus on earnings reports this week, with dozens of companies set to report after the close on Monday.
In other news, a proposed $35 billion merger between Publicis and Omnicom (NYSE: OMC) turned heads on Wall Street. The deal would create the world's largest advertising agency and is expected to shake up the industry.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 37 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at 15,522.
The S&P 500 lost around 6 points, or 0.37 percent, to finish at 1,685.
The Nasdaq declined roughly 14 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 3,599.
Pending Home Sales
Pending home sales declined 0.4 percent in June compared to a rise of 5.8 percent in the prior month. This came in ahead of consensus estimates which expected pending home sales to fall 1.7 percent in the month.
Crude oil prices were mixed to start the week on Monday. NYMEX crude futures were last trading down 0.21 percent while Brent contracts rose 0.35 percent to $107.54. Natural gas was down 2.70 percent to $3.46 in afternoon trade.
Precious metals rose modestly on the day. At last check, COMEX gold futures were up 0.63 percent to $1,330.20. Silver contracts had climbed 0.48 percent to $19.87. Copper added 0.11 percent on Monday and was trading at $3.1090.
The grains complex was largely lower with a few exceptions on Monday. Near the close of equities, corn was down 0.58 percent while wheat was higher by 0.19 percent. Movers in soft commodities included cocoa, which fell 2.27 percent, and sugar, which was up a little less than 3 percent.
Long-term Treasuries fell on Monday. Heading into the closing bell, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) was down 0.68 percent to $107.40. Yields rose as prices declined on the session.
Treasury yields were as follows on Monday afternoon: The 2-Year Note was yielding 0.31 percent. The 5-Year Note yield was at 1.38 percent. The 10-Year Note and 30-Year Bond were yielding 2.59 percent and 3.66 percent, respectively.
The U.S. Dollar was basically unchanged on Monday. Late in the day, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was flat at $22.10.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading down 0.08 percent to $1.3266. Other movers included the USD/JPY and the AUD/USD. The Yen rose 0.32 percent against the greenback on Monday while the Aussie Dollar declined 0.64 percent.
Volatility and Volume
The CBOE Volatility Index rose to start the week on Monday. Late in the day, the VIX was trading up around 6 percent to 13.49.
Volume was very light on the session. Only around 66 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 135.6 million.
MWI Veterinary Supply (NASDAQ: MWIV) added around 9 percent on the day after the company reported better-than-expected third-quarter results and lifted its forward-looking guidance.
Shares of 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) climbed almost 7 percent on Monday as investors look forward to the company's earnings results which are due out on Tuesday.
Tesaro (NASDAQ: TSRO) shares rose a little less than 5 percent after the stock was given a $45 price target at Morgan Stanley.
Shares of CF Industries (NYSE: CF) spiked higher intra-day after activist hedge fund Third Point LLC reported a stake in the stock. At last check, the shares were up around 11 percent.
Synta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SNTA) jumped almost 40 percent near the close after the company said that preliminary results from a trial evaluating its breast cancer treatment were positive.
Shanda Games Limited (NASDAQ: GAME) fell around 20 percent after it agreed to pay its parent company, Shanda Interactive Entertainment, around $812 million to acquire the affiliates providing its user and payment platform services.
Changyou.com lost around 20 percent near the close after issuing a disappointing forward-looking outlook along with its fiscal second-quarter earnings results.
Sohu.com (NASDAQ: SOHU) fell almost 10 percent on the session after its outlook disappointed investors. The company's second-quarter results, however, were better-than-expected.
Shares of Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE: TRQ) lost almost 19 percent on the session after an underground expansion at the company's Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia was delayed by the Mongolian government, which declared that financing must be approved by parliament.
Francesca's Holdings (NASDAQ: FRAN) lost more than 5 percent on Monday after the stock was downgraded at Wedbush from outperform to neutral.
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