Market Perspective for March 18, 2019

Equities opened higher on Monday, with the Russell 2000 Index increasing of 0.67 percent. Energy, financials, consumer discretionary and industrials outperformed. SPDR Energy (XLE), SPDR Financials (XLF), SPDR Consumer Discretionary (XLY) and SPDR Industrial (XLI) gained 1.39 percent, 1.01 percent, 0.97 percent and 0.97 percent, respectively.

The National Association of Home Builders’ confidence index remained at 62 in March. Sub-indexes covering current and future sales climbed higher, while the customer traffic sub-index dipped. February existing home sales and the flash manufacturing and service PMIs for March are out later this week.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed above $59 barrel on Monday and could challenge the $60 level this week. Natural gas held steady and closed the day at $2.85.

In the United Kingdom, the speaker of Parliament rejected a vote for another Brexit deal, indicating the bill must be substantially changed before another vote. The UK will leave the EU on March 29 if no new deal passes or if the European Union refuses an extension. All 27 EU members must approve any extension. The pound dipped on the news, though still remains near its 9-month high.

FedEx (FDX) highlights a light week for earnings. Analysts are looking for $3.16 per share in earnings and sales of $17.7 billion.

The other major report comes from Micron (MU). Analysts expect $1.63 per share in earnings, below Micron’s guidance range. Other companies reporting this week include Overstock.com (OSTK), Steelcase (SCS), General Mills (GIS), Tiffany & Co. (TIF), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM), Nike (NKE), Carnival (CCL) and Darden Restaurants (DRI).

 

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