Energy stocks lift S&P, Dow; Apple drags

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose on Monday, supported by energy stocks and strong results from Berkshire Hathaway Inc, while a 3 percent drop in Apple Inc shares dragged down the Nasdaq.

The S&P energy index .SPNY rose 1.21 percent, leading gains among the major S&P sectors, after oil prices were boosted by the restoration of U.S. sanctions on Iran. [O/R]

Apple APPL.O slid 3.3 percent, adding to its near 7 percent fall on Friday, after the Nikkei reported the company has told two smartphone assemblers to halt plans for additional production lines dedicated to the lower-cost iPhone XR.

Barring losses in the technology group and the FANGs – Amazon (AMZN.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Netflix (NFLX.O) and Facebook (FB.O) – the markets gained broadly at the start of the week, which will see the all-important U.S. midterm elections and a Federal Reserve meeting.

Opinion polls show a strong chance for President Donald Trump’s Republican Party holding the Senate but losing control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats – a potential hurdle to Trump’s pro-business agenda, which has been a major factor for the stock market’s rally since the 2016 election.

“When they are spilt like that, in a divisive environment that we have, nothing much gets done and that’s not the worst thing that could happen for Wall Street,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist, senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

“But in the short term, the market is going to react negatively because you’re not going to see the kind of favorable legislation that you’ve been seeing in the past couple of years.”

With the Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, investors are fretting over tighter U.S. monetary policy, especially after a string of strong economic data, including Friday’s jobs report.

The upbeat report did little to stop the U.S. market from snapping a three-day rally on Friday, following a bruising October, on Apple’s downbeat forecast and the White House dampening optimism over U.S.-China trade talks.

At 10:01 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 84.60 points, or 0.33 percent, at 25,355.43, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 1.99 points, or 0.07 percent, at 2,725.05 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 60.82 points, or 0.83 percent, at 7,296.18.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) jumped 4.6 percent after the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett said its quarterly operating profit doubled. The gains lifted the S&P financial index .SPSY up 1.1 percent.

Overall, third-quarter results have been stronger than expected, with about 78 percent of the companies so far beating analysts’ estimates, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.87-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.00-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 5 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 18 new lows.

Source: Read Full Article