The S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average moved well into positive territory on Friday, as the Dow put to rest an eight-day losing streak with a assistance from the energy sector. However, losses in the technology space kept the Nasdaq in check.
Domestic crude chalked up 4.6 percent gain to close at at $68.58 a barrel and Brent settled 3.4 percent higher at $75.55 after oil producers agreed to modest crude output increases to compensate for losses in production at a time of rising global demand.
Exxon Mobil rose 2.1 percent and Chevron gained 2.0 percent, as the two largest aids to the S&P 500. The S&P energy index was up 2.2 percent, as the sector notched its strongest day in June.
A rally in oil prices due to OPEC’s earlier decision to restrict supply to drain global inventories has given the sector a gain of more than 11 percent for the quarter-to-date, best among the 11 major S&P groups.
For the week, the Dow lost 2 percent, its weakest weekly performance since late March. The S&P 500 was down 0.9 percent and the Nasdaq fell 0.7 percent.
Trade worries still loomed, however, as Trump, in his latest move, threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all European Union car imports. The announcement came a month after the administration launched a probe into whether auto imports pose a threat to national security.
Harley-Davidson fell 2.3 percent. The company has in the past warned of a “significant impact” on its sales if the European Union decides to increase duties on motorcycles in retaliation. The S&P autos & components index fell 0.5 percent.
The result is additional concerns regarding the China-U.S. trade spat which escalated this week after Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports and Beijing vowed to retaliate.
Leading the decliners among tech was open source software provider Red Hat, which fell 14.2 percent after its current-quarter and full-year revenue missed analysts’ estimates due to a strengthening dollar.
Microsoft’s 0.72 percent decline and Nvidia’s 2.40 percent fall also weighed on the Nasdaq.
The trade spat has pushed the Dow lower for the past eight sessions as big industrial companies such as Boeing and Caterpillar have weighed on the index and put it on pace for its worst weekly performance in 13 weeks.
The latter stages of Friday’s trading brought a surge of volume ahead of FTSE Russell’s reconstitution of its indexes, finalized after the market close.
Approximately 9.70 billion shares changed hands on the major domestic equity exchanges, a number that was well above the 7.17 billion share daily average over the past 20 sessions.
Change Is Coming To The Telecommunications Sector
An overhauled telecommunications sector featuring most of the so-called FANG stocks could become a hot bet when it kicks off in September, enhanced by a rising wave of media and television acquisitions.
Long viewed as stodgy stocks for dividend-oriented investors, the telecom services sector will be renamed communications services and supercharged with the addition of Facebook, Netflix and Alphabet, three of the four FANGs, along with Amazon, as well as other companies that have driven the stock market to record highs in recent years.
The changes are part of the largest-ever shakeup of the stock market’s broad business categories. In total, 14 S&P 500 companies, including Netflix, will shift from the consumer discretionary sector into communications, joining AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink in the largest shakeup of the Global Industry Classification Standard, or GICS, since it was created in 1999.
Five S&P 500 companies will switch from technology to communications.
The new sector will also include Disney, Comcast and other entertainment and media companies trying to consolidate in an effort to fend off competition from newcomers Netflix and Alphabet, which produce content and sell it directly to consumers.
A legal ruling giving AT&T the go-ahead to buy Time Warner for $85 billion was the spark that initiated what will be a feeding frenzy.
Amazon), the fourth FANG stock, will stay in consumer discretionary and represent nearly a third of that sector.
Classifying companies within 11 major sectors and several sub-sectors, GICS is closely followed by sector analysts and investors. Its overhaul, which has yet to be finalized, aims to reflect the evolution of the media, telecommunications and Internet industries.
Reflecting Wall Street’s willingness to pay top dollar for companies like Alphabet, Netflix and Activision Blizzard, the newly constituted communications sector would trade at 19 times expected earnings, nearly double the sector’s current multiple, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Earnings of the newly constituted communications sector are expected to increase by 23 percent in the final quarter of 2018, compared with an estimated 12 percent increase under the sector’s current configuration.
Over the past five years, the telecommunications sector has had a total return of just 16 percent, including dividends. Under its new configuration, it would have had a total return of 110 percent.
Media, television and wireless companies, all of which will become part of the Communications sector, see buying content producers to add revenue. Twenty-First Century Fox is up 20 percent since June 13, when Comcast offered $65 billion for its media assets, outbidding an offer from Walt Disney, which responded on Tuesday by raising its bid to $71 billion.
Sprint, T-Mobile, Viacom, CBS, Dish Network and Discovery are up between 6 percent and 34 percent in June.
The addition of most of the FANGs and several other high-growth former tech stocks will make the communications sector an attractive one.
OPEC Agrees to A Modest Hike in Output
OPEC agreed on Friday to a modest increase in oil production from next month after its leader Saudi Arabia persuaded arch-rival Iran to cooperate, following calls from major consumers to curb rising fuel costs.
However, the agreement failed to announce a clear target for the output increase, leaving traders guessing how much more OPEC will pump. Oil prices rose by $1.85 to $74.90 a barrel.
Trump was among those wondering how much more oil OPEC will deliver.
The United States, China and India had urged oil producers to release more supply to prevent an oil deficit that could undermine global economic growth.
OPEC said in a statement that it would raise supply by returning to 100 percent compliance with previously agreed output cuts, but gave no concrete figures.
Saudi Arabia said the move would translate into a nominal output rise of around 1 million barrels per day (bpd), or 1 percent of global supply.
Iraq said the real increase would be around 770,000 bpd because several countries that had suffered production declines would struggle to reach full quotas.
By avoiding setting individual country targets, the deal appears to give Saudi Arabia the leeway to produce more than its official OPEC target and fill the gap left by those like Venezuela who cannot pump enough to meet their official allocation.
Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, had demanded OPEC reject calls from Trump for an increase in oil supply, arguing that he had contributed to a recent rise in prices by imposing sanctions on Iran and fellow member Venezuela.
Trump placed fresh sanctions on Tehran in May and market watchers expect Iran’s output to drop by a third by the end of 2018. That means the country has little to gain from a deal to raise OPEC output, unlike top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.
However, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih convinced his Iranian peer Bijan Zanganeh to support the increase just hours before Friday’s OPEC meeting.
OPEC and its allies have since last year been participating in a pact to cut output by 1.8 million bpd. The measure had helped rebalance the market in the past 18 months and lifted oil LCOc1 to around $75 per barrel from as low as $27 in 2016.
Nonetheless, unexpected outages in Venezuela, Libya and Angola have effectively brought supply cuts to around 2.8 million bpd in recent months.
The output boost agreed on Friday had been largely priced into the market and was modest.
OPEC’s deal to release more supply centered on returning to 100 percent compliance with existing, agreed cuts. Current compliance is around 40-50 percent above target because of production outages in Venezuela, Libya and Angola.
Iran has objected to having members with additional capacity such as Saudi Arabia fill Venezuelan output gaps.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers will meet on Saturday to iron out details of the pact and then again in September to review the deal. The next formal OPEC meeting was set for Dec. 3.