The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped Monday, weighed down by energy stocks as benchmark oil prices hit their lowest prices for the year on high global supplies. Earnings season took a breather, with little excitement created by companies including Clorox Co. and Tyson Foods Inc. that reported quarterly financial results Monday morning.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) declined 81.58 points, or 0.46 percent, to 17,608.28 as of midday trading on Monday. The S&P 500 index (INDEXSP:.INX) fell 3.16 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,100.69. The Nasdaq composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was essentially flat, down a slight 0.47 points, or 0.01 percent, 5,127.96
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), the world's largest oil and gas company, was down 1.12 percent to $78.16 in midday trading Monday after shedding more than 4 percent on Friday. Last week, the company reported lower profits for the April-June quarter due to falling oil prices. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), the world’s No. 2 oil and gas company, shed 2.58 percent to $86.20 after a similar plunge Friday. Chevron posted its worst quarterly profit in more than a decade, while Exxon’s earnings were the lowest since 2009.
The price of Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down nearly 3 percent on Monday to $50.67 per barrel by Monday morning, its lowest daily drop since January. Brent hit its lowest weekly price for the year last week. West Texas Intermediate, the other major oil price indicator for U.S. crude, fell 1.57 percent to $46.38.
Oil declined after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reported Friday that its July inventory hit a record high. On Monday, keystone OPEC member Saudi Arabia said it would soon increase its price for oil by about $1 a barrel, according to Reuters. The move is a hint that the country, with 15 percent of the world’s proven reserves, is comfortable enough with its market share to begin raising prices.
U.S. markets were somewhat cautious after the Institute of Purchasing Managers' manufacturing index data released Monday showed a decline to 52.7 last month, from 53.5, indicating slower activity in U.S. factories. Though the tick down was slight, it surprised economists who expected the number to remain unchanged.
Factory activity has been hammered by a strong dollar, which has curbed export activity as the price of U.S. goods abroad increase.
Clorox Co. (NYSE:CLX) shares were up 2.22 percent to $114.45 after the Oakland, California, maker of consumer and professional products reported on Monday higher than expected fiscal fourth-quarter profits, beating analysts’ expectations.
Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE:TSN) shares plummeted nearly 10 percent Monday after the country’s largest poultry producer missed its third-quarter earnings expectations on weak beef sales. The Springdale, Arkansas, meat company also cut its profit forecast for the year.