U.S. equities finished near the unchanged line on Monday as investors braced for the beginning of a very busy week of earnings reports. And much attention is being paid in the rise in long-term interest rates, with the 10-year Treasury yield within millimeters of crossing the 3% threshold (2.998%).
The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.1%, notching their third and fourth straight losses respectively. Volume was extremely light, with just 730 million shares trading hands on the NYSE vs. the 50-day average of 897 million.
Breadth was mixed, with six industry groups rising and five declining. Energy stocks gained 0.6% amid a 0.5% rise in crude oil to $68.76 a barrel. Technology was the weakest performer, losing 0.4%.
Dow components Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) all gained after receiving analyst upgrades. Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB) fell 1.5% after commodity inflation dinged profitability. And Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) gained 4.6% after reporting worse-than-expected profits and sales and falling as much as 4.6% in mid-day trading.
Trader positioning suggests more trouble ahead, with near-record speculative positioning short Treasury bonds, aggressive long volatility holdings and a rally in the dollar squeezing shorts in foreign exchange markets.
Check out Serge Berger’s Trade of the Day for April 24.
Today’s Trading Landscape
To see a list of the companies reporting earnings today, click here.
For a list of this week’s economic reports due out, click here.
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