Portfolio Allocation

Stocks Falter After Record-Breaking Week

S&P 500, Dow Jones, Nasdaq edged lower on Monday.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market declined on Monday, as the major indices pulled back from all-time highs.

Wall Street’s major indices traded lower at the close, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) falling 123.04 points, or 0.4%, to 34,077.63. The benchmark index closed at record highs on Friday.

The broad S&P 500 Index (SPY) of large-cap stocks declined 0.5% to close at 4,163.26. Ten of 11 primary sectors reported losses, with consumer discretionary and information technology leading the declines.

Meanwhile, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ) tumbled 1% to settle at 13,914.77.

A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (VXX) edged higher on Monday.  The so-called “investor fear index” reached an intraday high of 18.61 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historical average. It would eventually settle up 6.4% at 17.29.

In commodities, oil prices rose on Monday, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rising 30 cents, or 0.5%, to $63.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the international futures contract, gained 36 cents, or 0.5%, to $67.13 a barrel.

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In precious metals, gold prices fell at the start of the week, as the June futures contract declined $9.50, or 0.5%, to $1,770.70 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver futures tumbled 21 cents, or 0.8%, to $25.89 a troy ounce.

The Final Word: A strong start to corporate earnings season and upbeat economic data lifted equities last week. FactSet, a financial research firm, is estimating a strong rebound in corporate earnings for Q1.