The major domestic equity indexes rose on Monday on optimism over trade talks between the United States and China, though they fell from session highs after Trump criticized the Federal Reserve’s raising interest rates.
Stock prices fell during the last 10 minutes of regular trading after Trump, in an interview with Reuters, said he was “not thrilled” with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and accused China and Europe of manipulating their respective currencies.
Nonetheless, the equity markets retained much of their gains from earlier in the day, as talks between the United States and China planned for later this week provided a lift to the trade-sensitive industrial sector. Industrial stocks rose 0.6 percent.
The S&P 500 energy index and materials index were both higher by 0.7 percent as easing trade concerns also helped lift prices of oil and metal
This week, the Street is turning its attention to central bank policies as the earnings season winds down. The Federal Market Open Committee will release minutes from its August policy meeting on Wednesday. The minutes are expected to indicate the Fed’s confidence in U.S. economic growth and commitment to further interest rate increases.
Later in the week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other central bankers will meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. On their agenda is a discussion of the root causes of stubbornly low inflation, slow wage growth and weak productivity gains in the U.S. economy
Shares of Nike hit a record high of $82.42 after Piper Jaffray and Susquehanna raised their ratings on the stock. Nike shares closed out the trading day up 3.0 percent at $82.18.
Intel fell 1.3 percent after brokerage Cowen & Co said the chipmaker’s disclosure of new security bugs in some of its microprocessors may push cloud companies to seek other suppliers.
Estee Lauder rose 3.4 percent after exceeding quarterly earnings and sales estimates as customers purchased more of its high-margin Clinique and La Mer skin care products.
Approximately 5.31 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges on Monday, as compared to the 6.53 billion share average over the past 20 trading days.
Record in the Crosshairs
Why settle for nine-and-a-half years when you can do an even 10 or better? That’s the thinking about whether a historically long run in the equity markets still has legs. This Wednesday, the S&P 500’s bull-market run will turn 3,453 days old, which in some market watchers’ eyes will make it the longest such streak in history.
The bull was born in the ashes of the financial crisis and carried along through much of its rise by $3.5 trillion of asset purchases by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The debate now is over when, not if, its run will come to an end.
The record is difficult to pin down because Wall Street experts define bull and bear markets differently. The S&P 500 also would need to hit an all-time high after Wednesday to confirm the milestone. As of Friday, the S&P 500 was 0.8 percent shy of its record high, set on Jan. 26.
If the S&P fails to eclipse that high and drops 20 percent below it, that would signify instead that stocks have been in a bear market since the January peak. However, many are optimistic that the stock market in the near term will avoid a plunge that would end the bull run, in large part because of the economy’s health.
To extend its run, as it has throughout the long march higher, the market would need to come to terms with a range of geopolitical concerns, including trade tensions between the United States and its partners, an emerging market rout set off by Turkey’s sliding currency, uncertainty over China’s economy and upcoming midterm elections.
While I see strong growth for at least the next year, there are some concerns, including rising corporate debt and shaky housing activity.
The market is not far removed from brutal declines stemming from the 1999-2000 Internet bubble and 2007-2009 financial crisis, and investors are wary of the timing and extent of the next downturn.
For example, while the corporate tax cuts fueled equity returns in the past year, they could result in a harder landing for stocks.
Meanwhile, the Fed’s extraordinary efforts to foster an economic recovery from the financial crisis through asset purchases and rock-bottom interest rates have provided essential support for the market during its bull run. So, the central bank’s slow removal of those planks is now bringing uncertainty for stocks.
Of the 12 bear markets charted by CFRA since 1946, the average drop has been 32.7 percent. But the past two, stemming from the dot-com bubble and the financial crisis, have been more severe: declines of 49.1 percent and 56.8 percent, respectively. Still, there is skepticism that such an extreme move will be repeated.
The current bull market is commonly thought to have started on March 9, 2009, when the S&P 500 closed at 676.53 as the United States grappled with the global financial crisis. Since then, the S&P 500 index has more than quadrupled, closing Friday at 2850.13.
That makes it the third most-rewarding bull run, trailing only 1932-1937 and 1990-2000, the latter of which the current streak is poised to match in length on Tuesday, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Nonetheless, there have been bumps along the way.
During this bull run, the S&P has had 16 pullbacks of at least 5 percent, including four of at least 10 percent. The latest correction was the S&P’s 10-percent swoon in February from the Jan. 26 record high.
Declines of 20 percent for the S&P 500, the standard definition of a bear market, have predominantly occurred around a recession. Goldman Sachs tallied 12 pullbacks of at least 10 percent since 1976 that did not occur around a recession, including the correction earlier this year. Only one of those, in 1987, turned into a 20-percent bear market decline.
While a recession – a period of significant decline in economic activity – is not determined until after it occurs, the United States economy is expected to grow by 2.9 percent this year and 2.5 percent next year, according to Reuters.
S&P 500 company earnings are expected to rise 23.3 percent this year and another 10.1 percent in 2019, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.