Market Wrap for Monday, May 20: Stocks Record Very Minor Losses; Greenback Falls Versus Euro


The U.S. stock market fell on Monday in a quiet trading session. The losses, however, were very minor and the sharp uptrend in equities continues to look intact.

Nevertheless, traders and investors will be on the lookout for any sign of a pullback as stock prices have been surging on a near daily basis in recent weeks. In currency trading, the greenback fell while the euro climbed to kick off the trading week in the United States.

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Major Averages

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 19 points, or 0.12 percent, to 15,335.

The S&P 500 fell 1 point, or 0.07 percent, to 1,666.

The Nasdaq Composite shed a little less than 3 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 3,496.


Crude oil prices rose on Monday to start off the trading week. Late in the day, NYMEX crude futures were up 0.72 percent to $96.71. Brent crude contracts had added 0.08 percent to $104.72. Natural gas futures prices were last trading up 0.81 percent to $4.09.

Precious metals rose on the day. At last check, COMEX gold futures were up around 1.83 percent to $1,389.70. Silver futures had last added 2.21 percent to $22.85. Copper climbed a little less than 1 percent on Monday.

In the grains complex, corn and wheat futures were mixed. At last check, corn was trading down 0.50 percent while wheat was up 0.29 percent. In soft commodities, movers included coffee, which fell 1.28 percent, and orange juice, which rose better than 1 percent.


Bond prices were largely unchanged on Monday. Near the close of equities, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) was basically flat at $117.03. The yields on both the 2-Year Note and 5-Year Note were unchanged at 0.24 percent and 0.83 percent, respectively.

The yield on the 10-Year Note climbed one basis point to 1.97 percent. The yield on the 30-Year Bond was also higher by one basis point to 3.17 percent.


The greenback was strongly lower on the day. At last check, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the dollar versus a basket of foreign currencies, had lost 0.63 percent to $22.77.

The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading up 0.41 percent to $1.2891. Other movers included the USD/JPY, which fell 0.88 percent, and the AUD/USD, which rose 0.90 percent.

Volatility and Volume

The VIX rose on Monday as stocks recorded very small losses. The widely watched barometer of market fear was trading up around 5 percent to 13.06 late in the session.

Volume was very light to start the trading week. Only around 75 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 125 million.

Stock Movers

Shares of rare earth miner Molycorp (NYSE:MCP) had jumped almost 11 percent heading into the close. The move in the stock may have been influenced by short-covering.

SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) added around 15 percent on Monday. The company announced a financing deal with Goldman Sachs last Friday sending it up sharply. The activity in SolarCity also appears to be related to short-covering.

Websense (NASDAQ:WBSN) rose almost 29 percent after agreeing to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners.

IAMGOLD (NYSE:IAG) jumped more than 12 percent on Monday. The move in the name was tied to a strong showing for gold prices to start the week.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) shares rallied in the wake of an earnings report from Chinese panel maker J.A. Solar (NASDAQ:JASO). First Solar was trading up around 10 percent heading into the close.

Foster Wheeler (NASDAQ:FWLT) rose 9 percent on Monday after announcing that Dave Lawson will head the company's metals and mining business.

Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN) lost more than 7 percent in the wake of its Q4 earnings results.

OSI Systems (NASDAQ:OSIS) fell almost 8 percent after the company said that it expects to receive a notice from the Department of Homeland Security in connection with the termination of their software deal several months ago.

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