The materials sector started the week on a stronger note and continued to regain its strength. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 Materials sector rose 0.28% to 330.32—the highest levels since January 27.
Dow Chemical (DOW), E.I. Du Pont De Nemours (DD), and FMC (FMC) were the top performers in the materials sector. Newmont Mining (NEM), Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), and CF Industries (CF) were the worst performers. Dow Chemical, a US multinational chemical corporation, rose 4% on Wednesday. According to recent reports, the path was cleared for Dow Chemical and E.I. Du Pont De Nemours to get EU antitrust approval for the merger.
The EU’s concerns were about the company’s insecticides and pesticides division. To ease competitors and rivals’ concerns, DuPont is selling its crop protection business and Dow is selling its acid copolymers and ionomers business. Du Pont rose 3.4% on Wednesday and closed the day at $79.80—an all-time high price level.
Newmont Mining, one of the largest metal producers in the world, fell 3.9% on February 22. Despite strength in the sector, Newmont Mining fell due to weaker-than-expected financial results. According to the announcement, in the quarter that closed on December 31, 2016, expenses rose 51.3% to $2.58 billion. The net loss from continuing operations rose to $391 million in 4Q16 from $276 million a year earlier. It’s equivalent to $0.73 per share. The loss is primarily due to an impairment charge of $970 million incurred due to the mine closure in Peru. As a result, Newmont fell to $36 on Wednesday—the lowest level since February 1. In the next part, we’ll discuss how commodities are performing in the early hours.