US Stock Market Overview – Stock Rally Led by the Nasdaq; Microsoft and Semis Drive the GainsISM manufacturing accelerates in July
US stocks moved higher on Monday, as traders anticipated a deal between the White House and Congressional Democrats. Most sectors in the S&P 500 index were higher, led by Healthcare. Real-estate bucked the trend. The Nasdaq hit a fresh new record high, led by gains in Microsoft and the Semis. The VIX volatility index hit a fresh 5-month low at 22, before rebounding into the close to settle near 24.40. Apple shares continued to rally climbing nearly 3% on Monday after notching up a 14% gain last week.
Manufacturing in the US accelerated the most in 16-months, which is a forward-looking index. This helped buoy US yields which in turn help the US dollar rebound. The dollar rebounded putting pressure on precious metals, but oil and natural gas rallied helping to buoy the energy space. Natural gas prices surged 16% on Monday on a warm weather forecast. Microsoft confirmed that it would work out a deal to purchase Chinese company TikTok from Byedance. President Trump said that he would want part of the sale to come to the American People. This enraged some businesses in China.
ISM Manufacturing Accelerates by the Fast Pace in 16-months
U.S. manufacturing expanded in July at the fastest pace since March 2019. The Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing index rose to 54.2 last month from 52.6. Expectations were for a reading of 53.6. The ISM’s measure of production increased in July to 62.1, the highest level since August 2018, and a gauge of orders climbed to 61.5, which was the strongest since September of that year. Customer inventories fell to 41.6 in July, the lowest this year and showing that stockpiles were shrinking at a faster pace. Factory inventories also declined after barely growing a month earlier.