Wall Street’s major averages were mixed at Monday’s close as investors weighed the impact from Hurricane Harvey on the oil and insurance industries. Losses were mitigated, however, by strength in shares of construction and home improvement stocks, as well as healthcare and technology shares which gave the Nasdaq Composite a measurable lead over the Dow and S&P 500.
The flight-to-safety that was fuelled by the hurricane’s devastating impact on the U.S.’s fourth largest city drove gold prices to their highest level since Election Day, and the yield on the 10-year benchmark Treasury note to a 2-month low of 2.15%. And although gas futures closed nearly 4% higher, West Texas Intermediate oil futures lost 3% in value as Houston’s oil refineries struggle to come back on line. The area refines more than 2 million barrels of crude oil per day.
Images from East Texas overshadowed Monday’s economic data. The U.S. trade deficit in goods widened $65.1 billion in July from a revised $64.01 billion deficit, missing estimates for a $64.1 billion deficit.
Also, the Dallas Fed manufacturing index improved to 17.0 in August from 16.8, beating 15.7 estimates.
Tuesday’s data includes the Case Shiller home price index for June and August consumer confidence.