Stocks closed flat on Wall Street as investors prepare for a busy week of updates on inflation.
The S&P 500 gave up early gains and closed down 0.12% Monday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average squeaked higher by 0.09%, and the Nasdaq ticked down by 0.10%.
Small-company stocks outpaced the broader market in a sign of investors’ confidence in the economy. Retailers and communications stocks were among the biggest winners.
Clean energy companies, including First Solar, rose following Senate approval of Democrats’ big election-year economic package. The government will release its July reports for consumer prices and wholesale prices later this week.
Technology stocks weighed most heavily on the market. Pricey stocks in the sector tend to push the market higher or lower with more weight. Microsoft fell 1.2%.
Retailers and communications stocks were among the biggest winners. Target rose 0.6% and Facebook’s parent, Meta, rose 2.3%.
Clean energy companies gained ground following the Senate’s approval for Democrats’ big election-year economic package, which includes funding to help fight climate change. First Solar rose 5.1%.
Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.77% from 2.83% late Friday.
The benchmark S&P 500 index is coming off three consecutive weekly gains. Investors remain focused on inflation and its impact on businesses and consumers, along with the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight higher prices. The central bank has been aggressively raising interest rates to pump the brakes on economic growth and rein in record-high inflation. The Fed is expected to hike short-term interest rates by another 0.75 percentage points at its next meeting.
Wall Street is worried that the Fed could hit the brakes too hard on the economy and bring on a recession. Updates this week on inflation could provide more clarity on whether the Fed will remain aggressive.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday released a survey of consumer expectations from July showing that there were “substantial declines” in inflation expectations for everything from food and gas to home prices.
The Labor Department will release its July report for consumer prices, or consumer price index (CPI) on Wednesday, followed by its report for prices at the wholesale leve, or producer price index (PPI) on Thursday.
This week’s inflation updates follow reports last week showing the employment market remains strong. While that’s good for the economy, it has complicated the job of the Fed, which may be forced to continue with aggressive interest rate hikes intended to cool the economy and soaring inflation.
Investors are still reviewing the latest round of corporate earnings, which could also provide more details on how hard inflation is hitting consumers and businesses. Nvidia fell 8.4% for the biggest drop in the S&P 500 after it warned investors that its second-quarter revenue will fall short of forecasts because of weaker gaming revenue.
Generic drugmaker Viatris rose 4% after beating Wall Street’s second-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts.
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