Markets dip amid Iran fears; ISM non-manufacturing beats estimates

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10:30 a.m. ET: PayPal, Square rally on bullish analyst calls

The PayPal app logo seen on a mobile phone in this illustration photo October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

Constructive calls from Wall Street analysts help spark a rally in PayPal (PYPL) and Square (SQ), two of the biggest names in the payment space. Bloomberg notes that Bank of America’s Jason Kupferberg said Square has a “favorable setup” as he hiked the stock to “Buy” from “Neutral.” Meanwhile, expectations regarding PayPal have been “reset,” Sanford C. Bernstein’s Harshita Rawat wrote in a note, boosting the stock to outperform. 

10:00 a.m. ET: U.S. services sector expands in December

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index showed the services sector expanded last month, with the figure checking in above expectations at 55. It underscores how U.S. fundamentals mostly continue to defy gravity in the face of unrelenting uncertainty.

Drilling deeper into the numbers, the ISM survey’s respondents were “positive about the potential resolution on tariffs. Capacity constraints have eased a bit; however, respondents continue to have difficulty with labor resources.”

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks open modestly weaker as Iran, data weigh

Wall Street probes the downside after Monday’s session saw more selling on fears about intensifying U.S.-Iran tensions. The downside is capped by news that the U.S. trade deficit fell to a more than three-year low in November as the U.S. spars with China over trade.

Here’s where markets began Monday’s session:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -0.35%, or 11.41 points

  • Dow (^DJI): -0.38%, or 109.89 points

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -0.26%, or 21.26 points

  • 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX): flat to 1.0807%

  • Gold (GC=F): +0.50% to $1,569.30 per ounce

  • Crude (CL=F): -0.60 to $62.67

Bullion has become an exponent of the market’s geopolitical fears, which is parked at its highest levels in nearly 7 years. Investors also have more than enough data to chew on this week.

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