Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Monday, extending the advance seen in the previous session. With the upward move, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have reached new record intraday highs.
Currently, the S&P 500 is up 19.76 points or 0.4 percent at 4,529.13 and the Nasdaq is up 125.03 points or 0.8 percent at 15,254.53. Meanwhile, the narrower Dow is posting a modest loss, down 20.29 points or 0.1 percent at 35,435.51.
Stocks continue to benefit from recent upward momentum, which helped lift the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to new record closing highs last Friday.
Traders remain optimistic about the outlook for the markets even though the Federal Reserve has signaled it plans to begin scaling back its asset purchases later this year.
The Fed’s asset purchase program has helped prop up stocks throughout much of the coronavirus pandemic, but traders seem to believe the strength of the economy will provide continued support.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments last Friday suggesting interest rate hikes remain a long way off have also increased the appeal of stocks.
Trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as investors look ahead to the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.
Reports on consumer confidence, manufacturing and service sector activity, and factory orders may also attract attention in the coming days.
Despite the advance by the broader markets, airline stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Airline Index down by 2.2 percent.
Considerable weakness is also visible among banking stocks, as reflected by the 2 percent slump by the KBW Bank Index.
Oil service and gold stocks are also seeing notable weakness amid modest decreases by the prices of their associated commodities.
On the other hand, retail stocks have shown a strong move to the upside, driving the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index up by 1.5 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.5 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index edged up by 0.2 percent.
The major European markets have also moved to the upside, although the U.K. markets are closed for a holiday. While the German DAX Index has risen by 0.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index has crept up by 0.1 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back off their highs of the session but continue to see modest strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.3 basis points at 1.299 percent.
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