US stocks closed higher on Monday after some previous declines. All three indexes saw an early setback on Friday’s US Non-Farm Payrolls report and China’s trade balance data which came out lower than expectations.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was hit by a sharp decline in Boeing shares. The airline company’s shares were down 5.3% after the crash of 737 MAX 8 on Sunday, the second crash in less than six months. Boeing lost more than 150 points from the Dow Jones.
The S&P 500 Index was flat at 2783.30, up 40.23 or 1.45%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 25650.88 with a high of 200.64 or 0.78%, while the NASDAQ Composite Technology Index closed at 7558.06, an increase of 149.92 or 2.01%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose supported by the 3.47% gains in Apple shares. The growth in the giant communication company, which is a key component of the Dow Jones index, helped offset some of the losses generated by Boeing. The main driver behind this growth was that Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the shares to “buy” from “neutral”. Analysts at Bank of America said that they considered the company’s recent decline was a good opportunity. The bank also raised the price target for 12 months to $210 per share from $180 previously.
The Nasdaq Composite received support from Facebook shares, which rose 1.46%. Analysts say consumers are starting to use Facebook’s Stories more, while also using their messaging service.
Technology stocks also benefited from news that Nvidia bought Mellanox Technologies for $6.8 billion. Both stocks rose after the news, supporting the NASDAQ, with Nvidia gaining more than 6.97% while Mellanox jumped 7.78%.
Retail sales in the United States offer a mixed picture of the economy
The Retail Sales report in the United States on Monday showed mixed results. January’s headline figure rose more than expected, supported by increased purchases of building materials, but sales in December were much weaker.
However, despite of the inconclusive results so far, the report still shows that the economy was on track after a series of weaker-than-expected reports in the last month of 2018 as well as a sharp drop in the number of people employed in February.
The Commerce Department declared that retail sales rose 0.2%. December data were adjusted to show retail sales fall by 1.6% instead of a 1.2% drop as previously reported. Economists had expected retail sales to hold still in January. Further analysis and statistics revealed that the decline in December was the largest since September 2009 when the economy was in recession. Furthermore, sales in January increased by 2.3% over the last year.
In addition, while some investors feel that the downward revision of December’s core retail sales may have an impact on the GDP estimate for the fourth quarter, others say the data may have been skewed by the partial closure of the federal government for 35 days that ended On 25 January.
Traders should also note that markets are trying to find a quick turnaround before the next report. The February retail sales report, which was supposed to be released on Thursday, will now be released on April 1st.