The S&P 500 and the Dow rose on Monday, recovering losses from last week, as investors looked ahead to a key inflation report and commentary from a slew of Federal Reserve officials this week to gauge the central bank’s interest rate path.
All eyes will be on U.S. inflation data, expected on Wednesday, that will feed into the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision later in the month. A Reuters poll of economists showed they suspect that growth in consumer prices likely slowed in June.
“We are in an “information vacuum” until Wednesday,” said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital.
Citigroup strategists downgraded U.S. stocks to “neutral”, adding that megacap growth is set for a pullback and U.S. recession risks could still bite.
“This week has the potential to tip short-term momentum either way, depending how traders react to inflation data (CPI and PPI) and the first batch of Q2 earnings,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investing at E*TRADE from Morgan Stanley.
The second-quarter earnings reporting period kicks off this week and investors will assess the impact of tight monetary conditions and fears of an impending economic slowdown on businesses.
Overall, earnings for the S&P 500 constituents are expected to fall 5.7% in the second quarter, Refintiv data showed.
On Friday, Wall Street’s main indexes ended the week lower after a jobs report showed unemployment declined in June, while higher-than-anticipated wage growth pointed to a still strong labor market.
Traders still expect the U.S. central bank to raise rates by 25 basis points later this month, but are divided on the rate hike trajectory for the rest of the year.
Big banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup inched up, ahead of reporting earnings on Friday.
At 10:03 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 196.47 points, or 0.58%, at 33,931.35, the S&P 500 was up 9.58 points, or 0.22%, at 4,408.53, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 24.73 points, or 0.18%, at 13,635.98.
Seven out of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors advanced in early trading, with industrials leading gains, rising 1.3%.
Home Depot was among the top gainers on the Dow, climbing 1.8% after Jefferies lifted its price target on the home improvement retailer.
Meta Platforms added 0.7%, after founder Mark Zuckerberg said 100 million users have signed up on the conglomerate’s latest social media platform, Threads.
Most other megacap growth and technology stocks slid, with the FANG index sliding 1.8%.
Icahn Enterprises jumped 15.5% after the investment firm said Carl Icahn and banks have finalized amended loan agreements that untie the activist investor’s personal loans from the trading price of his firm.
Chipmakers like Intel and Qualcomm added 0.9% and 1.1% after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said over the weekend that meetings with senior Chinese officials were “direct” and “productive”.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.45-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.09-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 20 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 33 new highs and 24 new lows.