Stocks ended Monday mixed as investors weighed economic data and trade updates. The Dow gained 14 points, while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite lost less than 0.1%.
On the data front, flash readings of manufacturing and service activity from research firm IHS Markit revealed that each of the U.S. sectors improved in September from the prior month. The updates followed disappointing manufacturing figures out of the Eurozone, with factory activity in Germany declining at its fastest pace since 2009. Treasuries strengthened, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note down one basis points to 1.71%.
Trade remains in focus, after a Chinese delegation cancelled their planned visit to the American heartland on Friday. However, an update over the weekend revealed the U.S. requested the cancellation of the visit. Further, Beijing referred to the meetings in Washington last week as “constructive,” with U.S. officials echoing the sentiments. Following the deputy-level talks, China agreed to import 10 boat loads of soybeans ahead of high-level talks scheduled to take place on October 10th and 11th.
Seven of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended the day in positive territory with Consumer Staples outperforming. Kimberly-Clark added 1.3% following an analyst upgrade, while Target rallied 2.0% after an analyst reiterated his outperform rating. Facebook lost 1.6% after reports alleging that competitors are speaking to the Federal Trade Commission about the social media companies anti-competitive conduct. The Health Care sector lagged today’s session after Barron’s came out with a cautious report surrounding the opioid crisis. In commodities, WTI crude gained 0.7% to $58.48/barrel, while COMEX gold climbed 1.1%.