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Stocks Slip as Markets Await Fresh Catalysts

Barchart - Mon Mar 4, 3:39PM CST

The S&P 500 Index ($SPX) (SPY) Monday closed down -0.12%, the Dow Jones Industrials Index ($DOWI) (DIA) closed down -0.25%, and the Nasdaq 100 Index ($IUXX) (QQQ) closed down -0.42%.

Stock indexes on Monday settled moderately lower.  The S&P 500 on Monday fell back from a new all-time high as stocks consolidated recent gains.  The markets are awaiting Fed Chair Powell’s semiannual monetary policy testimony to a House committee on Wednesday and a Senate panel on Thursday for clues to the path of Fed policy.  Powell is expected to maintain his hawkish stance and signal the Fed is in no hurry to cut interest rates.  Also, Friday’s monthly U.S. payroll report will garner attention to see if the labor market remains strong and if wage pressures are contained. 

Bitcoin (^BTCUSD) rose more than +7% Monday to a 2-1/4 year high on a jump in institutional demand for Bitcoin and speculation ahead of the upcoming halving event in April.  According to BitMEX Research, the new spot Bitcoin ETFs have recorded $7.35 billion in inflows since their launch in January.

U.S. stocks have carryover support from strength in other global bourses after the Euro Stoxx 50 rose to a 23-year high Monday and the Nikkei Stock Index climbed to a new record high.

Comments Monday from Atlanta Fed President Bostic were slightly hawkish when he said he expects that the Fed's first interest rate cut in Q3 will be followed by a pause to assess how the shift in policy is affecting the economy.  Bostic added he was worried that businesses have too much exuberance and could unleash a burst of new demand after a rate cut that adds to price pressures. 

The markets are discounting the chances for a -25 bp rate cut at 2% for the March 19-20 FOMC meeting and 21% for the following meeting on April 30-May 1.

Overseas stock markets on Monday settled higher.  The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up +0.37%.  China’s Shanghai Composite closed up +0.41%.  Japan’s Nikkei Stock Index closed up +0.21%.

Interest Rates

June 10-year T-notes (ZNM24) on Monday closed down -9 ticks, and the 10-year T-note yield rose +4.1 bp to 4.221%.  Jun T-notes were undercut Monday from supply pressures, with more than $30 billion of corporate debt expected to be issued this week, prompting bond dealers to sell 10-year T-notes as a hedge against the upcoming supply.  T-notes maintained their losses Monday as inflation expectations increased after the 10-year breakeven inflation rate rose to a 1-week high of 2.346%.

European government bond yields on Monday were mixed.  The 10-year German bund yield fell -2.2 bp to 2.392%.  The 10-year UK gilt yield rose +0.3 bp to 4.117%.

The Eurozone Mar Sentix investor confidence index rose +2.4 to an 11-month high of -10.5, stronger than expectations of -10.6.

U.S. Stock Movers

Tesla (TSLA) closed down more than -7% to lead losers in the S&P 50 and Nasdaq 100 after the China Passenger Car Association reported Tesla’s China Feb shipments fell -15.5% m/m to 60,365 units.

Workday (WDAY) closed down more than -6% on signs of insider selling after an SEC filing showed Co-President Robinson sold $916,920 of shares last Thursday.

International Game Technology Plc (IGT) closed down more than -8% after Stifel downgraded the stock to hold from buy.

Paramount Global (PARA) closed down more than -5% after Bloomberg Intelligence said the company’s TV struggles are worsening with ads in freefall and that the new sports bundle called “Spulu” could intensify consumer cord-cutting. 

Target (TGT) closed down more than -3% on concern it will report a third consecutive quarterly decline in comparable sales when it reports Q4 results on Tuesday. 

Apple (AAPL) closed down more than -2% after the European Union fined it 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) over an investigation that it shut down rivals on its platforms.

Alphabet (GOOGL) closed down more than -2% on concerns that recent missteps in AI are putting its search business at risk and that another company may develop an AI-powered search engine that makes Google obsolete.

Newmont Corp (NEM) closed up more than +4% after gold prices rallied to a 3-month high.

Dominion Energy (D) closed up more than +4% on signs of insider buying after an SEC filing showed President and CEO Blue bought $997,981 of shares on Monday.

Morgan Stanley (MS) is up more than +4% after its wealth management unit said it will offer its clients a chance to buy IPOs before they are available to the public.

Nvidia (NVDA) closed up more than +3% at a record high after overtaking Saudi Aramco to become the world’s third-most-valuable public company after Apple and Microsoft. 

Super Micro Computer  (SMCI) closed up more than +18% after Dow Jones Indices announced late last Friday that it will replace Whirlpool in the S&P 500 before the open on Monday, March 18.

Macy’s (M) closed up more than +13% after Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital boosted their offer for Macy’s by 14% after the company rebuffed a previous proposal. 

Lyft (LYFT) closed up more than +4% after RBC Capital Markets upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral with a price target of $23.

Packaging Corp of America (PKG) closed up more than +3% after Bank of America Global Research upgraded the stock to buy from neutral.

DoorDash (DASH) closed up more than +3% after RBC Capital Markets upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral with a price target of $175.

Earnings Reports (3/5/2024)

ChargePoint Holdings Inc (CHPT), Crowdstrike Holdings Inc (CRWD), Ferguson PLC (FERG), HashiCorp Inc (HCP), Nordstrom Inc (JWN), Ross Stores Inc (ROST), Target Corp (TGT).

More Stock Market News from Barchart
On the date of publication, Rich Asplund did not have (either directly or indirectly) positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. All information and data in this article is solely for informational purposes. For more information please view the Barchart Disclosure Policy here.

Provided Content: Content provided by Barchart. The Globe and Mail was not involved, and material was not reviewed prior to publication.

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