Rudd’s MarketView Monday, November 20, 2017

Summary

The major domestic equity indexes were higher on Monday, with Verizon raising the telecom sector after the company received an upgrade, while a deal in semiconductors lifted high-performing tech shares.

With no major earnings or economic data scheduled this week, trading volumes were thin and expected to get even quieter leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and an early market close on Friday. Overall trading volume was the lightest in a month.

Verizon helped the telecom services sector of the S&P 500 with a 1.7 percent advance to $46.20, after a Wells Fargo note highlighted the stock’s valuation and said it is “an attractive yield play.” At the same time, telecom index is down 17 percent, as compared to a 15 percent advance on the S&P 500.

Cavium chalked up a record high of $84.41, after rival Marvell indicated it would acquire the company for about $6 billion. Cavium shares were last up 10.8 percent at $84.02 and Marvell shares rose 6.4 percent to $21.59.

The semiconductor sector index rose 1.2 percent and touched its highest point since the highs of the Y2K bubble.

Small cap stocks on the Russell 2000 rose 0.7 percent, outperforming the large-cap indexes.

Time Warner closed lower on Monday, after reports that the Justice Department will sue to prevent AT&T from acquiring Time Warner. Time Warner ended down 1.1 percent at $87.71.

The health sector index was weighed down by a 2.0-percent drop in Merck to $54.10 and a 0.8 percent decline in Bristol-Myers after Roche announced positive trial results for a competing cancer drug.

Approximately 5.67 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, a number that was well below the 6.81 billion share daily average over the past 20 trading sessions and the lightest since Oct. 18.