Monterey Herald

Wall Street steady going into a potentiall­y big week

- By Stan Choe

>> Stocks were mixed in quiet trading Monday as Wall Street stays in a holding pattern ahead of a potentiall­y big week.

The S&P 500 rose 2.78 points, or 0.1%, to 4,048.42 after coming off its first winning week in the last four. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 40.47, or 0.1%, to 33,431.44, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 13.27, or 0.1%, to 11,675.74.

The stock market has found some footing over the last week after a rollercoas­ter start to the year where a swift rise gave way to a sharp tumble. At the center of it all has been high inflation and expectatio­ns for what the Federal Reserve will do about it.

Early in the year, stocks rallied and bond yields eased as hopes rose that cooling inflation would get the Fed to take it easier on its hikes to interest rates. Then, stronger-than-expected reports on the economy raised worries that inflation is not cooling as smoothly as hoped.

While that calmed worries about an imminent recession, it also forced Wall Street to raise its forecasts for how high the Fed will take interest rates. Higher rates can drive down inflation, but they also hurt prices for stocks and other investment­s and can create a recession in the future.

On Monday, Treasury yields held relatively steady following their own rollercoas­ter movements this year. The yield on the 10year Treasury was at 3.97% after topping 4% last week and reaching its highest level since November. It helps set rates for mortgages and other loans central to the economy's strength.

On Wall Street, technology stocks were some of the market's strongest. They tend to be some of the biggest beneficiar­ies of lower interest rates, which can boost demand by investors for high-growth companies.

Apple rose 1.9%, and Microsoft ticked up 0.6% to be the two biggest forces lifting the S&P 500.

On the losing end was Tesla, which fell 2%. Over the weekend, it cut the prices of two of its most expensive vehicles.

Bigger action may be ahead later this week, with several potentiall­y marketmovi­ng events on the calendar.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify before Congress for two days, beginning on Tuesday. Other Fed officials' comments recently have led to big swings in markets, as traders try to get ahead of the next moves by the Fed.

Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at Allspring Global Investment­s, isn't expecting anything surprising from the testimony. That's partly because an important data release is scheduled for later in the week on Friday, one that could by itself cause a big swing in the Fed's thinking.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States