Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished modestly higher Monday as central banks around the world took steps to stimulate their economies.
  • AT&T (T - Get Report) climbed after activist investor Elliott Management wrote a letter to the company's board urging a broader business review that it says would unlock investor value. Elliott took a $3.2 billion stake in the telecommunications and media company.
  • Amgen (AMGN - Get Report) shares tumbled after the drugmaker presented details of a trial of its key lung cancer treatment that fell short of Wall Street forecasts. Amgen is Real Money's Stock of the Day.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks ended mixed Monday as central banks around the world were taking steps to stimulate their economies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost earlier momentum but finished up 38 points, or 0.14%, to 26,835, the S&P 500 slipped 0.01%, and the Nasdaq dropped 0.19%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance ( WBA - Get Report) , Caterpillar ( CAT - Get Report)  and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM - Get Report)   led the Dow's advance.
 
China's central bank cut the ratio of cash banks must hold on their balance sheets for the seventh time in less than two years late Friday, a move that came just ahead of trade data for August that showed a slump in overall exports, particularly to the United States, amid the trade war between the world's two largest economies.
 
The European Central Bank is expected to reveal a major stimulus effort later this week, and risk sentiment received a boost from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who vowed Friday to "act as appropriate" on interest rates in order to "sustain the expansion" of the world's biggest economy.
 
Last week, China made an offer by phone to buy a modest amount of U.S. agricultural goods, Politico reported, but only if the United States eased up on up export restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei and delayed an Oct. 1 tariff escalation on roughly $250 billion in goods.
 
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox Business Network that he takes it as a sign of "good faith" by China that officials will restart trade talks with their U.S. counterparts. Mnuchin said the U.S. and China have a "conceptual" agreement on enforcement concerns.

The world's two biggest economies are scheduled to resume trade talks early next month. Mnuchin said President Donald Trump is willing to continue with tariffs on Chinese goods if there's no deal. He also said that he doesn't see any signs of a recession.

"We reduced our 2019 S&P 500 EPS forecast in August to reflect increased risk to economic growth and corporate profits from the ongoing trade conflict between the United States and China," said John Lynch, chief investment strategist at LPL Financial. "Although we continue to expect resolution later this year or in early 2020, the odds of a more prolonged dispute have risen. As a result, we believe it is prudent to be somewhat conservative in our forecasts until we get more clarity on trade."
 
With the second quarter completed, Lynch said the most important takeaway "is that earnings are still growing and an earnings recession appears to be off the table for now.'
 
"Overall, we think corporate America has done a good job delivering modest earnings gains amid significant headwinds, including tariffs and trade uncertainty, slowing growth in Europe and Japan, and a strong U.S. dollar," he said.

A group of 50 state attorneys general officially announced they were opening an antitrust probe into Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) operations on Monday afternoon. Shares fell $1.05, or 0.09%, to $1,205.27.

Shares of AT&T (T - Get Report) climbed 1.4% to $36.77 after activist investors Elliott Management wrote a letter to the company's board of directors urging a broader business review that it says would unlock investor value after taking a $3.2 billion stake in the telecoms and media company.

Amgen ( AMGN - Get Report) shares fell 2.6% to $202.34 after the drugmaker presented details of a trial of its key lung cancer treatment that fell short of Wall Street forecasts. Amgen is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
 
 
Boeing ( BA - Get Report) shares fell about 1.2% to $358.78 after the aerospace giant suspended testing of its 777X aircraft in the latest delay to a widebody program intended to soften the impact of its grounded 737 MAX jets.

Tech giant Apple (AAPL - Get Report) is scheduled to hold its "By Innovation Only" gathering on Tuesday where it is expected to unveil updated iPhone models - each with new cameras - and a host of new products and services. Shares ended up slightly at $214.17.

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill ( CMG - Get Report) rose slightly to $839.79  after an analyst at Wedbush upgraded his rating of the quick service restaurant chain to outperform from neutral and raised his stock price target to $980.
 
Overstock ( OSTK - Get Report) shares rose sharply ahead of the closing bell, rising more than a dollar a share in the final 15 minutes  on heavy volume to end the day up $2.57, or 15.2%, at $19.47.  Former CEO Patrick Byrne left the company last month after issuing a peculiar press release referencing the "deep state." 
 
Overstock.com Inc (NASDAQ: OSTK) CEO Patrick Byrne stepped down Thursday after two decades of running the company. His resignation is quite bizarre and includes references to the "deep state" and Clinton family. Hours after his resignation, the executive appeared on Fox Business' "Bulls & Bears" to discuss his decision.
 

Oil prices were rising after Saudi Arabia ousted its influential Energy Minister over the weekend. News accounts said that Saudi Arabia's new energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on Monday endorsed curbing oil output to address an oversupply.

Brent crude contracts were up $1.15 to $62.69 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate contracts, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gas prices, were $1.51 higher at $58.03 a barrel.

Amgen, Alphabet, Apple, Caterpillar, and JPMorgan Chase are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells these stocks? Learn more now.