Wall Street’s main indexes slipped on Monday as investors awaited a crucial inflation reading and other economic data this week that could shape expectations around how long the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates elevated.
Megacap growth stocks were a big drag, as the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose. Shares of Microsoft, Amazon.com and Apple fell between 0.5% and 1.5% in early trade.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were in the red, with rate-sensitive real estate stocks down 1.2% and leading declines.
This week’s economic data as well as speeches from Fed officials will provide clues on the trajectory of interest rates amid growing expectations that the Fed is done hiking borrowing costs.
A report on Tuesday is expected to show headline consumer prices eased to 3.3% in October from 3.7% in September. However, core prices are seen unchanged from the previous month.
“If the year-over-year (number) continues to show a decline, then that seals the fact that the Fed is not going to raise in December and most likely they’re done with the hiking campaign,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.
The major U.S. stock indexes have rebounded strongly this month, fueled by a stronger-than-expected earnings season and on hopes that U.S. interest rates are near their peak.
The benchmark S&P 500 closed at near eight-week highs on Friday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq hit a two-month peak.
Traders have priced in a nearly 86% chance that the Fed will hold interest rates in December, but have pushed back bets of rate cuts to June from May, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.
Adding to the cautious mood, Moody’s lowered its outlook on the U.S. credit rating to “negative” from “stable”, citing large fiscal deficits and a decline in debt affordability.
“With the absence of macro news and the strong rally that we had on Friday, the downgrade and the anticipation of the inflation data is inducing some selling this morning,” Cardillo said.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled a Republican stopgap spending measure on Saturday aimed at averting a government shutdown on Friday, but the measure quickly ran into opposition from lawmakers from both parties in Congress.
At 9:41 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 20.28 points, or 0.06%, at 34,262.82, the S&P 500 was down 19.10 points, or 0.43%, at 4,396.14, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 96.40 points, or 0.70%, at 13,701.71.
Medtech companies such as Dexcom, Abbott and Insulet rose between 2% and 5% as analysts said data for cardiovascular benefits for Novo Nordisk’s weight-loss drug Wegovy is better than feared for the companies.
Cushioning the Dow, Boeing climbed 5.1% after Bloomberg News reported that China is considering resuming purchases of 737 Max aircraft.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.49-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.18-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 82 new lows.