Dow Pops as Gains in Energy Stocks

By Baystreet Market Updates

Stocks were mostly higher on Monday, led by sharp gains in energy and financials. However, investors were also bracing for the upcoming U.S. mid-term elections.

The Dow Jones Industrials added 27.65 points to 25,298.48, as Chevron shares jumped 2.5%.

The S&P 500 subtracted 3.52 points to 2,719.54, as energy and financials both climbed more than 1%.

The NASDAQ fell 89.87 points, or 1.2%, to 7,267.13, as a decline in Apple shares dragged down the tech sector.

Chevron shares rose to lead the energy sector higher after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral, noting the company has a compelling free cash flow and valuation. Berkshire Hathaway lifted the financials sector, after the company reported over the weekend better-than-expected earnings.

U.S. voters will head to the polls on Tuesday for high-stakes elections that can send ripples throughout capital markets. Democrats are largely expected to regain control of the House, with Republicans forecast to retain a slim majority in the Senate. This outcome is seen as largely positive as, historically, a government has led to solid gains in the stock market.

If the GOP maintains a majority in both chambers, it could give stocks a short-term boost as it increases the likelihood of further tax cuts. Meanwhile, a so-called Democratic sweep could pressure stocks as it could lead to a reversal of some of the policies passed by the GOP to boost the economy.

The Democrats were leading with a seven-point advantage ahead of the contest, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday.

Stocks gains were also limited as Apple shares dipped 2.5%. The tech giant’s decline comes after Rosenblatt Securities downgraded Apple amid expectations of lower iPhone sales.

Investors are also grappling with uncertainty on the trade front. On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his rhetoric against protectionism and commitment to free trade in a speech. Xi said his country was pursuing “a new round of high-standard opening up” to broaden market access to the rest of the world.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S.Treasury gained, lowering yields to 3.19% from Friday’s 3.22%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices gained 41 cents to $63.55U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices were unchanged at the outset to $1,233.30U.S. an ounce

This article provided by NewsEdge.