Daily market review

United States

Better demand for growth stocks helped major stock indexes rise Monday but sectors were scattered, with travel stocks rebounding and energy lagging the most. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.5 percent while the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent, and the NASDAQ rose 1.1 percent.

Gains in Apple, up 2.5 percent, and chipmakers helped technology stocks beat the market, with Nvidia up 2.5 percent. Strength in travel & leisure and restaurants on the reopening trade gave consumer discretionary a boost. Drug stores lifted consumer staples.

Among value shares, banks gave back some of last week's rally. Industrials lagged on weakness in construction and engineering. Steel and chemicals depressed materials. Energy fared worst as oil prices fell with oil majors hit. Chevron was a notable decliner, down 1.1 percent.

Among companies in the news, airlines rallied on a rebound in bookings, with American Airlines up 7.7 percent and United up 8.3 percent. Drug-maker Merck rose 2.2 percent on news it will team with Gilead, up 2.5 percent, to make HIV treatments.

These price data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET: Dated Brent spot crude oil declined 39 cents to US$68.85 while spot gold rose US$7.48 to US$1,731.56. The US dollar rose vs. most major currencies. The US Treasury 30-year bond yield declined 2 basis points at 2.36 percent while the 10-year note yield fell 2 basis points to 1.61 percent.


Equities ended flat to lower Monday with a mixed showing among sectors. The Europe-wide STOXX 600 was flat, the German DAX eased 0.3 percent, while the French CAC and FTSE-100 both slipped 0.2 percent.

Declines in energy, mining, and financials depressed the major averages, with index heavyweights Royal Dutch Shell down 2.1 percent and BHP down 2.1 percent. Travel stocks outperformed on positive bookings news, with IAG, owner of British Airways, up 2.5 percent.

News that several European countries had suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine dampened market sentiment. Markets were cautious ahead of Federal Reserve and Bank of England meetings scheduled this week.

Among sectors, travel & leisure outperformed, along with telecom, health care, retail, food, autos, and technology. Lagging were basic resources, oil & gas, banks, financial services, chemicals, construction, insurance, and real estate.

Among companies in the news, H&M, the retailer, fell 0.6 percent despite topping sales expectations. InPost, the Dutch parcel delivery service, rose 6.4 percent on news it will enter the French market with its acquisition of Mondial Relay.

Asia Pacific

Major Asian equity markets were mixed Monday with Chinese markets under pressure on worries over tighter government policy and new restrictions on Chinese fintechs.

China's Shanghai composite declined 1.0 percent while the CSI300 dropped 2.2 percent. Growth stocks paced the selloff amid continued concerns that Chinese government policy will look to rein in speculation in real estate and financial markets generally, along with stepping up regulation of fintechs lending to consumers.

Hong Kong stocks firmed, with the Hang Seng up 0.3 percent, led by financial and energy stocks after upbeat Chinese industrial data. Heavyweight tech Tencent fell 3.5 percent on worries the Chinese government will extend its crackdown on fintech following its actions against Ant Group, the online payments platform.

Japanese equities rose slightly, with the Nikkei share average up 0.2 percent and the Topix rising 0.9 percent, on carryover from strength on Wall Street Friday and hopes for global recovery. Gains were across the board, with cyclicals leading, paced by marine/air transportation and banks.

Australian markets ended nearly unchanged, with the All Ordinaries index up 0.1 percent. Miners and tech lagged to hold back the rest of the market, which reacted positively to upbeat Chinese economic data and comments from Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe who said the RBA was far from ready to withdraw stimulus.

In Chinese economic data, industrial production rose 35.1 percent on the year for January and February combined, up sharply from growth of 7.3 percent in December and reflecting the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which cut output sharply in the first two months of 2020. Separately, retail sales rose 33.8 percent on the year for January and February combined, up sharply from growth of 4.6 percent in December.

Looking ahead*

On Tuesday in Asia/Pacific, Reserve Bank of Australia meeting minutes and Australian residential property price reports are due. In Europe, French CPI, Italian CPI, and German ZEW reports are scheduled. In North America, US retail sales, US import and export prices, US industrial production, US business inventories, and US housing market index figures are due.

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