US markets end flat; consumer, healthcare stocks gain

Benchmark US indices closed flat on Monday, August 2, as investors started trading in the new month with a subdued note amid concerns over rising cases of covid infections from delta mutant.

The S&P 500 was down 0.18% to 4,387.16. The Dow Jones fell 0.28% to 34,838.16. The NASDAQ Composite rose 0.06% to 14,681.07, and the small-cap Russell 2000 was down 0.48% to 2,215.50.

Stocks saw early gains in Monday’s session before edging lower at the close. Consumer discretionary and healthcare stocks were the top movers on the S&P 500, while energy and basic materials stocks were the bottom movers. Eight of the 11 major segments of the index remained in the red.

Global Market Roundup || US markets end flat; consumer, healthcare stocks gain

Investors appeared optimistic about the overall pace of the economic recovery. Moreover, the positive quarterly results of companies continued to boost morale. Earnings of most companies on the S&P 500 could beat analysts’ expectations for the June quarter that helped restore confidence.

Investors were also watching the recent slide in Treasury bond yields, with the 10-year yields declining over 4% and 30-year yields by 2%. Meanwhile, the Senate is likely to pass a bipartisan infra spending bill, about US$1 trillion, this week. It will be spent on roads, bridges, the internet, and other infra projects. Investors would also eagerly wait for the Labor Department's monthly job report.

The Square Inc. (SQ) stock jumped more than 13% in intraday trading after the company announced to acquire the Australian 'buy now, pay later' company Afterpay Ltd. for US$29 billion. The acquisition is expected to give a major jumpstart to its online payment processing business.

Uber Technologies Inc, Eli Lilly and Co., CVS Health Corp, etc., are expected to report their earnings this week. The results are likely to influence this week’s market sentiments.

Shares of Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and BioNTech SE (BNTX) gained 2.49% and 3.73%, respectively, after increasing their covid vaccine prices in Europe. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to give its full approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech covid vaccine in the coming months. Moderna Inc. (MRNA) also has raised its vaccine prices in Europe, but the stock fell 1.35%.

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Parker-Hannifin Corp (PH) stock fell 1.11% after agreeing to purchase its UK-based rival Meggitt plc for US$8.8 billion. In industrial stocks, BHP Group (BBL) rose 0.50%, Vale S.A. (VALE) gained 1.76%, and Rio Tinto Group (RIO) was up 1.65%. On the other hand, Linde plc (LIN) and Newmont Corporation (NEM) declined 1.88% and 0.97%.

In consumer discretionary stocks, Aptiv plc (APTV) rose 1.31%, Domino's Pizza Inc. (DPZ) gained 1.14%, and Ebay Inc. (EBAY) rose by 1.00%. However, the Target Corporation (TGT) and Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST) ticked down 1.56% and 1.36%, respectively.

In healthcare stocks, UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH) rose 0.83%, Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) gained 1.43%, and Anthem, Inc. (ANTM) increased by 1.57%. Conversely, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) and Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) shed 1.18% and 0.85%, respectively.

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Top Gainers

Top performers on S&P 500 included DXC Technology Co (6.58%), Fortinet Inc (4.55%), Ralph Lauren Corp (3.94%), Under Armour Inc (3.31%). On NASDAQ, top performers were Ever-Glory International Group Inc (124.78%), Dolphin Entertainment Inc (55.87%), Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc (38.21%), Exicure Inc (34.07%). On Dow Jones, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (0.88%), UnitedHealth Group Inc (0.81%), Nike Inc (0.74%), International Business Machines Corp (0.33%) were the leaders.

Top Losers

Top laggards on S&P 500 included Global Payments Inc (-11.18%), Fidelity National Information Services Inc (-6.66%), Fiserv Inc (-4.66%), Generac Holdings Inc (-4.62%). On NASDAQ, E-Home Household Service Holdings Ltd (-28.28%), Immunovant Inc (-26.00%), OptimumBank Holdings Inc (-23.15%), TG Therapeutics Inc (-21.63%). On Dow Jones, Visa Inc (-2.68%), Dow Inc (-1.51%), Mcdonald's Corp (-1.08%), Merck & Co Inc (-0.90%) were the laggards.

Volume Movers

Top volume movers were Advanced Micro Devices Inc (16.80M), Bank of America Corp (12.09M), Apple Inc (11.87M), Ford Motor Co (11.82M), Pfizer Inc (9.09M), Tesla Inc (7.81M), AT&T Inc (7.64M), Ever-Glory International Group Inc (16.55M), Bit Digital Inc (10.03M), Exicure Inc (9.96M).

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Futures & Commodities

Gold futures were down 0.02% to US$1,816.80 per ounce. Silver decreased 0.34% to US$25.460 per ounce, while copper fell 1.13% to US$4.4318.

Brent oil trade decreased 3.09% to US$73.08 per barrel and WTI crude was down 3.37% to US$71.46.

Bond Market

The 30-year Treasury bond yields was down 2.23% to 1.852, while the 10-year bond yields ticked down 4.85% to 1.179.

US Dollar Futures Index decreased 0.13% to US$92.070.