Economist's Insights

Yesterday’s Trading – Stocks Recovered on Higher Oil Prices But Financials Fell for a Record 12th Consecutive Session

Jun 26, 2018

U.S. stocks rallied back Tuesday in large part because of significantly stronger pricing for shares of energy-related companies. That sector of the S&P 500 moved up 1.4% following a notable jump in the value of crude oil. Brent crude gained 2.6% while U.S. WTI outperformed with a 3.8% rally on headlines that the U.S. would pressure allies to cut-off all oil imports from Iran by November 4. Not doing so could subject those countries to U.S. sanctions. The targeting of Iranian crude comes after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in early May and moved to re-impose sanctions on the country. Technology companies also recovered Tuesday and were among several sectors that improved to help push the overall index up a modest 0.2%. But financial companies failed to join in on the rebound. The S&P 500’s financial sector slipped 0.4% and has now (stealthily) declined in 12 consecutive sessions, the longest streak on record.

Over that 12-day stretch, the slope between the 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields has flattened in 10 sessions. While the curve saw hardly net change on the day, the 2s (2.533%) and 10s (2.877%) spread touched a new cycle low.