Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

How major USA stock indexes fared Monday

How major USA stock indexes fared Monday

US stocks fell on Monday, pressured by a more than 2% drop in shares of Apple Inc and as investors toned down expectations of an aggressive interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve later this month.

The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017.

South Africa's rand weakened early yesterday against a soaring dollar as investors factored in fewer rates cuts by the US Federal Reserve following stronger than anticipated US jobs growth in June.

Shares in BASF slumped nearly 6% in Europe after the German chemicals giant issued what one trader described as a "shocking" profit warning, blaming a global slowdown and trade war between the United States and China.

Among stocks, Apple Inc's shares fell 1.6% premarket after Rosenblatt Securities downgraded to "sell" from "neutral".

"Both from a bottom-up and top-down perspective, equity market valuations appear far too ambitious", analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note.

European stock markets were set to follow Asia and USA markets lower.

"Indeed, companies have begun cutting their 2019 profit forecasts, citing the trade conflict as a reason".

"That's put a cloud over the market as well."Investors might get an opportunity to gauge near-term monetary policy thinking during Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's semi-annual testimony to the U.S. Congress on July 10-11".

The greenback briefly rose to a six-week high of 108.90 yen on Tuesday before settling at 108.68 yen, little changed on the day.

The euro traded at $1.1210, near a three-week low of $1.1207.

"But Powell can lean against the idea that the Fed will cut rates 75 bp this year, by emphasizing the still robust expansion, strong financial conditions, and perhaps couching a cut in terms of 'insurance'".

The US jobs data on Friday suggested the world's top economy is in better shape than anticipated and would not need substantial rate cuts to be kick-started. Britain's parliament will weigh an amendment later aimed at ensuring it can not be sidestepped if the next United Kingdom prime minister wants to pursue a no-deal Brexit divorce from the European Union.

The technology.SPLRCT index was down 0.7%, while the healthcare index.SPXHC fell 0.8%, weighed down by U.S. President Donald Trump's recent statement about an upcoming executive order that would lower prescription drug prices.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was flat at 21,526.22, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.3% to 6,653.60.

The S&P 500 posted 20 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 42 new highs and 50 new lows.

The British pound was last quoted at US$1.2515, within striking distance of US$1.2481, its lowest since the "flash crash" on January 3 when the pound dropped to US$1.2409. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures shed 19 cents, or 0.33 per cent to settle at US$57.47 a barrel.

Gold prices also ticked lower, as the dollar scaled its multi-week highs.

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