The major averages closed out Monday's trading session mixed despite retail sales data that showed consumer spending trended higher than expected last month.
The Dow recorded a small loss on the day while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched very modest gains. Overall, the investing atmosphere remains very attractive with volatility levels trending lower while the market continues its sharp uptrend.
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 15,092.
The S&P 500 was basically flat at just below 1,634.
The Nasdaq Composite climbed better than 2 points, or 0.06 percent, to 3,439.
Retail sales data came in stronger than expected for the month of April. Retail sales increased 0.1 percent last month compared to a decline of 0.5 percent for March. This came in well ahead of consensus expectations which expected a decline in retail sales of 0.3 percent.
Excluding motor vehicle sales, retail sales fell 0.1 percent in April versus a decline of 0.4 percent in March. This came in slightly better than consensus estimates which called for a decline of 0.2 percent.
Business inventories growth was unchanged in March for the second straight month. This compared to consensus estimates calling for business inventories to increase by 0.3 percent in March.
Crude oil moved lower to start the week on Monday. NYMEX crude futures fell around 1 percent to $95.05 at last check. Brent contracts lost 1.13 percent and were last trading at $102.74. Natural gas rose 0.43 percent and was trading at $3.93 near the close of the equity market.
Precious metals were down slightly on the day. COMEX gold futures had lost 0.28 percent to $1,432.60 in afternoon trade while silver was off by 0.20 percent to $23.61. At last check, copper futures were up 0.09 percent.
The grain complex was higher across the board on Monday. Near the close of equities, corn futures were trading up a little better than 3 percent while wheat had added 0.78 percent. In soft commodities, cocoa added better than 1 percent while sugar fell a little more than 1 percent.
Bond prices took a dive on Monday. Near the close of the stock market, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) was down around 0.71 percent to $117.90. The fall in prices pushed yields up on the day, although the 2-Year Note yield was unchanged at 0.24 percent.
The yield on the 5-Year Note added one basis point to 0.82 percent. The 10-Year Note yield was last trading up by two basis points to 1.92 percent. The 30-Year Bond yield climbed three basis points to 3.13 percent.
The U.S. dollar was slightly higher at the beginning of the week. Heading into the closing bell, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, was trading up 0.09 percent to $22.62.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last down 0.08 percent to $1.2971. Other movers included the GBP/USD, which fell 0.42 percent, and the AUD/USD, which lost 0.56 percent on the session.
Volatility and Volume
Volatility expectations were largely unchanged on Monday. Late in the trading session, the VIX had lost 0.08 percent and was trading at 12.58.
Volume was lighter than usual in a quiet trading session on Monday. Only around 72 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 124.7 million.
Shares of SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) had jumped more than 23 percent on Monday along with other solar stocks. The company was set to release its quarterly financial results after the closing bell.
Theravance (NASDAQ:THRX) climbed better than 17 percent after the company struck a $1 billion royalty deal with Elan (NYSE:ELN).
Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) continued to rally on Monday. The company reported its first-ever profit last week. The stock was last trading up around 14 percent.
Jos. A. Bank (NASDAQ:JOSB) fell around 7 percent on Monday after the company provided a Q1 profit warning.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) traded down more than 9 percent after a Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) employee was quoted as saying that a NOOK deal between the two companies is "not happening."
Post Holdings (NYSE:POST) fell a little less than 6 percent on Monday after the company reported its Q2 earnings results prior to the opening bell.
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