The U.S. equity market opened the week on a positive note, sending both the S&P 500 (+0.2%) and the Dow (+0.3%) to new all-time highs. The tech-heavy Nasdaq (+0.1%) touched a new intraday high on Monday, but failed to carve out a new record close following a technology sell off in the late afternoon. Small caps outperformed, pushing the Russell 2000 higher by 0.7%.
After climbing to a new record high at the start of Monday's session, the stock market began trending sideways, protecting its modest opening gain. The heavily-weighted financial sector (+1.0%) underpinned the broader market during this time and continued to exert a positive influence through the closing bell.
However, the top-weighted technology sector (unch) took control of the broader market in the afternoon following the sector's sharp drop into negative territory.
Without a catalyst, the tech sector exchanged a gain of 0.3% for a loss of 0.3% in less than an hour with mega-cap names like Apple (AAPL 158.67, -1.21), Facebook (FB 170.01, -1.63), Alphabet (GOOGL 929.75, -5.54), and Microsoft (MSFT 75.16, -0.15) leading the retreat. Likewise, the S&P 500 slipped to its lowest mark of the day, fully retracing its gain of 0.3%.
However, the tech group managed to bounce back a bit in the late afternoon to finish just a tick below its unchanged mark. Chipmakers helped keep the sector's loss in check, putting together yet another positive performance. The PHLX Semiconductor Index climbed 1.2% to settle in the green for the sixth-consecutive session.
NVIDIA (NVDA 187.55, +7.44) led the semiconductor rally--climbing 4.1% to a new all-time high--after Bank of America/Merrill Lynch raised its target price to $210 from $185 on Monday morning.
In total, six sectors finished Monday's session in the green--financials (+1.0%), industrials (+0.6%), materials (+0.6%), telecom services (+0.5%), energy (+0.4%), and consumer staples (unch)--while five settled in the red--technology (unch), health care (-0.1%), consumer discretionary (-0.4%), real estate (-0.5%), and utilities (-1.0%).
The industrial sector benefited from the positive performances of several influential Dow components, including Boeing (BA 253.08, +4.08) and Caterpillar (CAT 123.83, +2.46), which climbed 1.6% and 2.0%, respectively. UBS upgraded CAT shares to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' on Monday morning.
As for Boeing, it rallied alongside aerospace and defense peer Northrop Grumman (NOC 275.97, +8.94), which climbed 3.4% after announcing its intent to acquire Orbital ATK (OA 132.25, +22.21) for $7.8 billion, or $134.50 per share, in cash. Including the assumption of debt, the total cost will be $9.2 billion.
In the bond market, Treasuries sold off in a curve-steepening trade. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note climbed three basis points to 2.23% while the 2-yr yield advanced just one basis point to 1.39%. Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index (91.81, +0.16) climbed 0.2%.
Reviewing Monday's economic data, which was limited to the September NAHB Housing Market Index:
- The NAHB Housing Market Index for September declined to 64 (Briefing.com consensus 67) from a revised reading of 67 (from 68) in August.
On Tuesday, investors will receive three economic reports--August Housing Starts (Briefing.com consensus 1.17 million), August Import/Export Prices, and the Current Account Balance for the second quarter (Briefing.com consensus -$115.1 billion). All three pieces of economic data will be released at 8:30 ET.
Also of note, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will kick off a two-day meeting on Tuesday morning. It's latest policy directive will cross the wires on Wednesday afternoon.