U.S. stocks ended mostly lower on Monday, 24 June 2019, with only the blue-chip Dow managing to hold onto slight gains, as geopolitical tensions in the Middle East weighed on the oil sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 9 points, or less than 0.1%, to around 26,728. The S&P 500 was down 0.2% to finish around 2,945. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3% to end around 8,006.
The energy sector gave back some of its gains from last week, while the consumer discretionary sector was dragged lower. The materials, consumer staples, and information technology sectors provided offsetting support.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order sanctioning Iran's leaders. The U.S. and Iran have been stuck in a simmering dispute over attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz and the downing of a U.S. drone last week.
In M&A news, Caesars Entertainment confirmed it will be acquired by Eldorado Resorts for $12.75/share in cash and stock, or approximately $8.6 billion.
U.S. Treasuries finished on a higher note, pushing yields lower across the curve. The 2-yr yield declined four basis points to 1.74%, and the 10-yr yield declined five basis points to 2.02%.
Bullion prices ended higher at Comex on Monday, 24 June 2019. Gold prices continued their march toward a six-year high on Monday, with weakness in the U.S. dollar and 10-year Treasury yield, expectations for lower interest rates among global central banks and geopolitical concerns all contributing to haven demand for the precious metal.
August gold rose $18.10, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,418.20 an ounce, after trading as high as $1,421. Prices saw their highest most-active contract settlement since August 28, 2013. That followed a gain of 4.1% last week. July silver rose 8.71 cents, or 0.6%, to $15.377 an ounce after gaining 3.3% last week.
Crude oil futures split two ways on Monday, 24 June 2019 with U.S. prices ending higher but global benchmark Brent crude posting a loss as the U.S. announced new sanctions on Iran. President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order imposing financial sanctions on Iranian leaders.
In Monday dealings, August West Texas Intermediate crude climbed by 47 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $57.90 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest front-month contract finish since May 29. Prices rose 8.8% for last week. Meanwhile, international benchmark August Brent crude ended down 34 cents, or 0.5%, at $64.86 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
The hefty climb for U.S. prices last week came on the heels of expectations that Middle East tensions may lead to a disruption in the oil markets. Oil bulls had also cheered signs that economy-boosting central bank policy would be delivered.
The dollar index slipped 0.2% on Monday.
Investors did not receive any economic data on Monday. On Tuesday, investors will receive New Home Sales for May, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index for June, the FHFA Housing Price Index for April, and the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for April.