ETF Trends
ETF Trends

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds retreated Monday as falling crude oil prices hit the energy sector, but technology stocks remained one area that avoided the storm.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEArca: VOO), were down 0.2% Monday. Meanwhile, the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ), which tracks the tech heavy Nasdaq-100 Index, continued to strengthen for its fifth consecutive session, rising 0.4% Monday.

The energy sector led the market sell-off Monday as West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures declined 3.0% to $52.4 per barrel. Oil prices slipped after analysts pointed out that some were growing increasingly concerned over rig counts, which have risen for 10 consecutive weeks on the higher crude oil prices, reports Mike Bird for the Wall Street Journal.

The market rally is beginning to lose momentum after surging since Donald Trump won the elections and promised to enact various expansionary economic policies. However, investors are now shifting their attention to the upcoming earnings season and stock valuations.

“As we move into the next couple of weeks, the focus will move toward the micro and to specific company earnings and expectation going forward,” Matt Jones, U.S. head of equity strategy at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, told Reuters.

Many anticipate the corporate earnings season to improve after a string of losses that contributed to a so-called earnings recession over previous quarters. The strengthening economy and rising oil prices helped support the outlook.

“We’ve come a long ways in a hurry, and right now there is more good news than bad news priced into the market. We may be due for a breather with valuations at current levels,” John Brady, managing director at R.J. O’Brien & Associates, told MarketWatch.

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