Energy slumps, Amazon shines as Wall Street ends flat
By Lewis Krauskopf
(Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indexes ended little changed on Monday, retreating modestly from record highs set during the session, as gains for Amazon countered losses in shares of energy companies.
Investors also digested strong economic data, which showed sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly rose in October to a 10-year high amid robust demand across the country.
Prospects for corporate tax cuts have also occupied market watchers who hope such reforms would further fuel the record-setting run for equities.
President Donald Trump summoned Senate Republican tax-writers to the White House to urge passage of a sweeping tax bill as Republicans rushed to bring the bill to a Senate vote, possibly as soon as Thursday.
“You have got this continuous background of tax reform,” said Peter Andersen, chief investment officer with Fiduciary Trust Company in Boston.
“But underlying that, if you just take your eyes off that for a moment and look at the other fundamentals of the economy and the world economy, things look very positive,” Andersen said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average () rose 22.79 points, or 0.1 percent, to 23,580.78, the S&P 500 () lost 1 points, or 0.04 percent, to 2,601.42 and the Nasdaq Composite () dropped 10.64 points, or 0.15 percent, to 6,878.52.
Investors were also eyeing Tuesday’s hearing at the U.S. Senate Banking Committee to confirm the nomination of Jerome Powell to succeed Janet Yellen at the helm of the Federal Reserve.
Shares of online retailer Amazon (O:) rose 0.8 percent as consumers sought Cyber Monday online promotions following the Black Friday start to the holiday shopping season.
“These are retail’s two biggest days of the year and not surprisingly retail is driving this market,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa.
Amazon led the S&P 500 retailing index <.SPXRT> up 0.6 percent. Shares of Gap (N:) rose 1.2 percent and Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands (N:) rose 4.1 percent.
Energy () was the worst-performing major sector, falling 1.0 percent. eased from two-year highs on prospects of higher supply and uncertainty about Russia’s resolve to join in extending output cuts ahead of this week’s OPEC meeting.
Shares of oil majors Chevron (N:) and Exxon (N:) fell 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
Chipmaker shares were also notable laggards. Micron Technology (O:) declined 3.3 percent and Nvidia (O:) slipped 1.3 percent, with the Philadelphia semiconductor index () off 1.3 percent.
The declines followed a 5-percent drop in shares of Samsung Electronics (KS:) in Asian trading after Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) downgraded the stock, citing concerns that a boom in memory chips is likely to peak soon.
Shares of hard-drive maker Western Digital (O:) dropped 6.7 percent after a downgrade.
In merger news, Time (N:) rose 9.5 percent after media company Meredith (N:) said it would buy the magazine publisher. Meredith shares surged 10.7 percent.
Barracuda Networks (N:) shares jumped 16.5 percent after the data security company agreed to be bought by private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC.
About 5.7 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, below the 6.4 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.68-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.43-to-1 ratio favored decliners.