U.S. stock indexes remained higher in Monday’s final hour of trading, boosted by producers of luxury items and services including Tesla, as investors await inflation and retail sales data later this week to help guide the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate policy.
How stock indexes are trading
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA advanced 83 points, or 0.2% to 34,660.
- The S&P 500 SPX rose 28 points, or 0.7%, to 4,486.
- The Nasdaq Composite COMP climbed 150 points, or 1.1% to 13,918.
All three major stock indexes lost ground last week with Dow industrials off almost 0.8%, while the S&P 500 shed 1.3% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.9%, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
What’s driving markets
U.S. stock indexes were up on Monday — with consumer-discretionary, communication-services and several technology names leading the broader market higher — as traders braced for a busy week of economic data releases.
Tesla shares TSLA, +10.26% jumped 9.3% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the electric-vehicle giant’s stock to overweight from equal weight, while raising the price target to a Wall Street high of $400 per share from $250, basing most of that newfound optimism on Tesla’s new machine-learning supercomputer, Dojo.
Still, the stock market has a handful of near-term events that will help determine whether a rebound is justified. The August U.S. consumer-price index will be published Wednesday morning, while producer-prices and retail-sales reports for the same month are due on Thursday — all of which are likely to factor into the thinking of Federal Reserve policy makers as they consider whether to eventually adjust interest rates at their policy meeting next week.
The headline consumer-price index is forecast to accelerate to 0.6% in August from July’s 0.2% gain, while the core measure that strips out volatile food and fuel costs is expected to rise a mild 0.2% from a month earlier, according to a survey of economists by The Wall Street Journal.
“The equity market has been really strong the first seven months of the year and had a healthy pullback in August, and we will see if we get encouraging signs this week that propel the market forward,” said Eric Sterner, chief investment officer at Apollon Wealth Management in Mount Pleasant, S.C., which manages around $5.3 billion in assets.
“It could go the other way, too, if inflation proves to be sticky, with the potential for more rate hiking in coming months,” Sterner said via phone on Monday. “It’s going to be a while before we get to the Fed’s 2% target on inflation. The labor market remains tight and consumer spending is holding up strong. So between that and higher energy prices, there’s still some upward pressure on inflation.” Meanwhile, an extended strike by the United Auto Workers union has the potential to “disrupt supply chains, be very disruptive to consumer spending, and put upward pressure on the automobile component of inflation.”
A report from The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reaffirmed expectations in markets that the central bank is likely to pause rate increases at next week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, though policy makers are shifting toward a more balanced bias on rates. While the Summary of Economic Projections set to be released on Sept. 20 will likely show that an additional increase is still on the table, an unspecified number of officials are worried about raising rates and causing a downturn, the newspaper reported.
With no major U.S. economic data released on Monday, “there’s a lot of focus on what will happen with the data later this week to get a better sense of the short-term trajectory for stocks,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the Americas at OANDA Corp. “We won’t see significant positioning until we get past some of those risk events.”
“Overall, the expectation is that we’re going to be seeing further weakness in the economy and core inflation readings should remain subdued,” Moya said via phone.
U.S. government bond yields edged mostly higher on Monday after the Bank of Japan said it could end its negative interest-rate policy when achievement of its 2% inflation target is in sight. The yield on the 2-year Treasury BX:TMUBMUSD02Y was slightly higher at 4.991% while the yield on the 10-year Treasury BX:TMUBMUSD10Y advanced 2.4 basis points to 4.281%. Yields move in the opposite direction to prices.
The U.S. dollar DXY depreciated against the Japanese yen USDJPY, -0.89% on Monday, while the 10-year Japanese government bond yield BX:TMBMKJP-10Y climbed 5.5 basis points to 0.705% — a level not seen since at least 2014.
Companies in focus
- Qualcomm Inc.‘s QCOM, +3.98% shares rose 4.3% after Apple Inc. AAPL, +0.91% extended a deal to get modem semiconductors from the chip maker for at least three more years. Apple shares were up 0.8%.
- Walt Disney Company‘s DIS, +1.29% stock gained 1.5% after CNBC reported that its fight between cable giant Charter Communications CHTR, +2.98% and Disney came to a close. The two companies reportedly reached an agreement to restore popular channels such as ESPN to the cable operator’s nearly 15 million subscribers. Class A shares of Charter Communications were up 3.3%.
- Class A shares of Hostess Brands Inc. TWNK, +19.23% jumped 19.3% after the Twinkies and HoHos maker announced an agreement to be acquired by J.M Smucker Co. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $5.6 billion.
- American depositary receipts of Alibaba Group Holding BABA, -1.49% fell 1.4% after the e-commerce giant said in a surprise announcement on Sunday that outgoing CEO Daniel Zhang will also be stepping down as chairman and chief executive of its cloud business unit.
Jamie Chisholm contributed.