October 19 Market Close: GovCon Index Returns to Narrow Range as Energy Gains Boost US Stocks

GovConIndexDOWNExecutive Mosaic’s GovCon Index closed at a slight loss Wednesday to show a fourth session of tight movement over the last five on mixed activity in its large-cap members as U.S. stocks rode gains by energy producers on a 15-month high settlement in crude oil prices.

GovCon Index laggers slightly edged gainers and six of its 11 S&P 500 companies advanced with co-listed Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) as the GCI’s top net performer in Wednesday trade.

Harris was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from “Sell” to “Hold” despite expectations of continued top-line earnings and revenue pressure in the military radio maker’s 2017 fiscal year that started in July.

Zacks told investors in a research note it remains “positive on (Harris’) efforts to be a leading player in the industry with rapid innovation and new products” and also “optimistic on the company’s collaborations and credible customer list.”

Boeing (NYSE: BA), Navistar International (NYSE: NAV), Honeywell International (NYSE: HON) and Vectrus (NYSE: VEC) also closed as top five net advancers in the GCI.

Declines in primes such as Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII), Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) and Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) helped offset the GCI’s lead gainers along with McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK).

Northrop ended as the S&P 500 composite index’s 14th-worst net performer Wednesday, while the U.S. stock bellwether’s healthcare sector that includes McKesson declined 0.34 percent Wednesday.

Co-listed company Textron (NYSE: TXT) closed at no change prior to the defense and industrial conglomerate’s third quarter earnings due before Thursday’s open to kick off the financial reporting season for GovCon Index companies.

Wall Street analysts expect Textron to report earnings of $0.67 per share and revenue of $3.4 billion.

Investors welcomed earnings reports from Morgan Stanley and Halliburton that exceeded analyst expectations and also looked ahead to Wednesday night’s third and final presidential election debate in Las Vegas.

Both the election and the next Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting take place three weeks from Wednesday.

Crude oil futures in New York for the November contract climbed 2.6 percent to its highest settlement since July 14, 2015 to $51.60 a barrel and energy stocks rose 1.5 percent after U.S. government data showed a drawdown in inventory for a sixth week in the last seven.

Market Summary

IndexValueNet Change% Change
GovCon Index79.624-0.106-0.133%
S&P 5002, 144.29+4.69+0.22%
Dow Jones Industrial Average18, 202.62+40.68+0.22%
NASDAQ5, 246.41+2.57+0.05%
Advancing GovCon Index Issues13
Declining GovCon Index Issues16
Unchanged GovCon Index Issues1

Top GovCon Index Net Performers

SymbolCompany$ Current PriceNet Change ▴% Change
HRSHarris Corp. *91.64+1.25+1.38%
BABoeing *136.18+1.08+0.80%
NAVNavistar International23.14+0.78+3.49%
HONHoneywell International *108.27+0.40+0.37%
VECVectrus16.52+0.38+2.35%

Top GovCon Index Percentage Performers

SymbolCompany$ Current PriceNet Change% Change ▴
NAVNavistar International23.14+0.78+3.49%
VECVectrus16.52+0.38+2.35%
HRSHarris Corp. *91.64+1.25+1.38%
BABoeing *136.18+1.08+0.80%
CSRACSRA *26.33+0.20+0.77%

Lowest GovCon Index Net Performers

SymbolCompany$ Current PriceNet Change ▾% Change
HIIHuntington Ingalls Industries159.07-1.51-0.94%
NOCNorthrop Grumman *218.16-1.28-0.58%
LLLL-3 Communications *148.15-1.07-0.72%
MCKMcKesson Corp. *161.12-0.98-0.60%
OAOrbital ATK76.89-0.75-0.97%

Lowest GovCon Index Percentage Performers

SymbolCompany$ Current PriceNet Change% Change ▾
EGLEngility Holdings29.91-0.56-1.84%
OAOrbital ATK76.89-0.75-0.97%
HIIHuntington Ingalls Industries159.07-1.51-0.94%
CAECAE14.42-0.13-0.89%
LLLL-3 Communications *148.15-1.07-0.72%
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