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  • Financials underperform on concerns over Italian government’s proposed budget.
  • Today’s data shows that personal spending and personal income both increase by 0.3% in August.
  • DJIA outperforms Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 in Q3.

Major equity indexes in the United States started the day slightly lower and struggled to make a decisive move in either direction as investors are assessing their next move in the last day of the third quarter.

On Friday, European stocks recorded losses after Italy’s government proposed a budget deficit targeting 2.4% of the GDP for the next three years to receive heavy criticism  from the EU. The risk-off mood weighed on the global market sentiment and triggered a sell-off in the financial sector amid falling US  T-bond yields. “Italy is weighing on people’s minds as to where they want to be. The U.S. is the place to be, and the rest of the world – not so much,”  Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at Global  Investments in Atlanta, told Reuters, and the S&P 500 Financials Index closed the day 1.06% lower.

Meanwhile, defensive sectors such as real estate and utilities, which benefit from lower bond yields, recorded sharp gains to help keep losses limited. At the end of the say, the S&P 500 Utilities and the Real Estate indexes were up 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day 0.07% higher at 26,459.05 points, the S&P 500 closed flat at 2,914.13 points, and the Nasdaq Composite Index erased 4.81 points, or 0.06%, to 2,914.13.

Major indexes’ weekly, monthly & quarterly performances (via Reuters)

  • For the week, the S&P fell 0.54 pct, the Dow lost 1.07 pct, the Nasdaq gained 0.74 pct.
  • For the month, the S&P rose 0.43 pct, the Dow added 1.9 pct, the Nasdaq shed 0.78 pct.
  • For the quarter, the S&P rose 7.19 pct, the Dow added 9.01 pct, the Nasdaq gained 7.14 pct.