Market Perspective for June 17, 2019

Equities opened higher this week ahead of a crucial Federal Reserve meeting. The Russell 2000 Index rallied 0.67 percent to lead the major indexes. The Nasdaq returned 0.62 percent. Both the Dow and S&P 500 increased 0.09 percent.

SPDR Communication Services (XLC) advanced 1.16 percent to lead S&P 500 sectors on Monday. SPDR Real Estate (XLRE) saw gains as speculators focus on a rate cut. It gained 1.09 percent.

Market volume was light on Monday and should remain relatively light before the Fed announces its policy statement at 2 PM on Wednesday. For the past six trading days, the S&P 500 Index has fluctuated within a tight range between 2910 and 2874, or 1.3 percentage points.

The National Association of Homebuilders’ survey slipped from 66 to 64 in June. Expected sales and customer traffic sub-indexes helped drive the headline number lower. Tuesday brings housing starts and building permits for May. Analysts see both numbers effectively flat from April. Existing home sales for May are out on Friday, which are expected to rise to an annualized pace of 5.28 million.

The week ends with flash manufacturing and services PMIs for major economies around the world.

Crude oil weakened on Monday and closed below $52 per barrel. In good news for consumers, gasoline prices are starting to decline. U.S. Oil (USO) fell 1.10 percent, while U.S. Gasoline (UGA) lost 1.72 percent.

Oracle (ORCL), Adobe (ADBE), Kroger (KR), CarMax (KMX), Canopy Growth (CGC), Darden Restaurants (DRI) and Red Hat (RHT) headline a light week for earnings.

Important Note: Numerous ETFs went ex-dividend on Monday. Some data providers and brokerages platforms haven’t adjusted prices yet. For example, some sites show iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) down more than 2 percent, though it gained 0.04 percent on the day.

 

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