Stocks were down on Monday as financial shares across the globe suffered the largest decline of a single sector. This weakness in the financial stocks comes in part as a result of the Fed’s decision last week to keep interest rates unchanged until at least November, and concern over the impact of a settlement between a major European bank and the U.S. Justice Department. For others, the uncertainty of the presidential election may be beginning to weigh on investors’ minds, due to the first presidential debate that was held on Monday.
U.S. stock futures began losing ground on Sunday as markets in Europe and Asia declined, leading the major market averages to a lower price at the opening bell. Not even higher oil prices on Monday could invigorate the stock market as U.S. crude oil gained 3.3 percent to $45.93 per barrel. Though most of the day’s losses occurred in the first 30 minutes of trading, prices spent most of the day at the bottom of the range closing near their lowest prices of the day, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 down 0.86 percent and the Nasdaq Composite off 0.91 percent.
This week is expected to be relatively light on economic news, but throughout the week 11 members of the Federal Reserve are scheduled to speak, including Federal Reserve President Janet Yellen. This barrage of messages from the Federal Reserve should keep investors on their toes.
Thanks to the general decline in the U.S. dollar over the past week following the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged for now, commodities have generally gotten a lift. This week, the top-performing commodities were led by the S&P GSCI Aluminum index, up 5.02 percent over the past five trading days, followed by the S&P GSCI Crude Oil index, higher by 4.72 percent over the same period.