Home Finance Stocks score first gains in four days ahead of inflation data, earnings season

Stocks score first gains in four days ahead of inflation data, earnings season

by CoinNews

U.S. stocks finished higher on Monday, scoring their first gains of the past four trading sessions, ahead of crucial inflation data for June and the start of the second-quarter earnings season this week.

How stocks traded

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average
    finished up by 209.52 points, or 0.6%, at 33,944.40.

  • The S&P 500
    ended up by 10.58 points, or 0.2%, at 4,409.53.

  • The Nasdaq Composite
    closed up by 24.77 points, or 0.2%, at 13,685.48.

  • All three major indexes had been down for three straight days prior to Monday’s session.

  • The Russell 2000 small-cap index
    finished up 30.59 points, or 1.6%, at 1,895.25.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite finished with weekly losses of 2%, 1.2% and 0.9%, respectively.

What drove markets

Stocks struggled for direction for much of Monday, following last week’s relatively robust economic data which pushed bond yields
toward cycle highs. But by the end of trading, equities scored gains on optimism that the next major U.S. inflation report could include signs of easing price gains.

The June consumer-price index report is due on Wednesday, and is likely to influence the Federal Reserve’s thinking on how many more increases are needed to its benchmark interest- rate target.

Read: S&P 500 could surge 100 points this week on inflation data, says Fundstrat’s Lee

Tom di Galoma, managing director and co-head of global rates trading at BTIG, said he expects June’s annual headline rate from the consumer-price index to drop to around 3% from 4% in May, and the narrower core gauge to “easily” fall to 5% year-over-year and to 4% by year-end.

“Inflation is coming down quite a bit and I don’t expect this inflation number on Wednesday will be any different,” di Galoma said via phone. He said he expects Fed officials to deliver just one more quarter-of-a-percentage point rate hike later this month, “and then just go home for the balance of the year.”

Still, policy makers remained vigilant on Monday about their inflation fight. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said a “couple” of additional rate hikes are likely needed this year and that the labor market in the U.S. remains “really strong.”

One of her colleagues, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, said the U.S. central bank needs to raise interest rates further to bring inflation down toward the Fed’s 2% target.

“In order to ensure that inflation is on a sustainable and timely path back to 2%, my view is that the funds rate will need to move up somewhat further from its current level and then hold there for a while as we accumulate more inflation on how the economy is evolving,” Mester said in a speech at the University of California San Diego.

In U.S. economic data, wholesale inventories in the U.S. were unchanged in May following a decline in the prior month — indicating businesses are producing or stockpiling fewer goods due to an uncertain economy.

The second-quarter U.S. corporate earnings season will kick into gear on Friday, when big banks such as JPMorgan Chase
and Wells Fargo
present their numbers.

As second-quarter results begin to roll in this week, “corporate earnings need to deliver on market expectations to support stocks, in our view,” according to Jean Boivin, head of BlackRock Investment Institute, and others.

“We see a key divergence in earnings forecasts: They have risen for a few tech firms, while the rest stagnate,” they wrote in a note. “Profit margins are shrinking, and we see more pressure ahead. So we get granular and favor sectors like healthcare within developed market stocks.”

Companies in focus

  • Shares of Nvidia Corp.
    closed down by 0.8% even after Citi Research analyst Christopher Danely wrote that the company stands to command “at least 90%” of the AI-graphics market going forward.

  • Icahn Enterprises L.P.
    stock finished 20.2% higher after The Wall Street Journal reported that investor Carl Icahn and his lenders have finalized amended loan agreements that untie his personal loans from the trading price of his company’s shares.

  • American depositary receipts of Mobilcom Ltd.
     ended up by 88% in very active trading on Monday after the provider of cybersecurity offerings for drones and robotics announced a purchase order from Teledyne Technologies Inc.

  • Shares of Cava Group Inc.
    finished 11.1% higher after analysts initiated coverage on the stock of the Mediterranean-style fast-casual restaurant chain, which made its public-markets debut in mid-June.

Jamie Chisholm contributed.

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