Market Brief: European Political Turmoil Drives Markets
Matt Weller, CFA, CMT August 20, 2019 4:23 PM
See a summary of the top market themes and trends from today's US trading session!
- FX: The US dollar was the weakest major currency in relatively quiet trade; the British pound and Swiss franc were the strongest.
- Geopolitical developments in Europe stole the headlines today, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson continuing to debate the potential for changes with the Irish border as part of Brexit. Meanwhile, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned, extending the country’s political turmoil.
- Commodities: Gold and oil (WTI) both finished the day within 0.5% of yesterday’s closing levels.
- US indices closed lower on the day as Treasury yields turned lower once again. This ended the three-day winning streak for major indices. Ongoing discussions about a possible payroll tax cut have failed to support investor sentiment, perhaps because they view such a policy as unlikely.
- Consumer Discretionary (XLY) was the only sector to close higher on the day, while Financials (XLF) brought up the rear.
- Stocks on the Move:
- Retailer Kohl’s Corporation (KSS) dropped 7% despite reporting better-than-expected Q2 profits and revenues.
- Medtronic (MDT) rose nearly 3% after beating on earnings and revenues, as well as raising full-year guidance.
- Market darling Beyond Meat (BYND) gained 6.5% after the stock was upgraded by JPMorgan on the potential for growth in quick-service restaurants.
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