Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., February 6, 2024.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
U.S. stocks hovered near the flatline early Monday following a record-setting week for the S&P 500. Investors also looked ahead to key inflation data and earnings.
The broad market index fell marginally along with the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1%.
Salesforce was the biggest drag on the Dow, with the cloud-based software stock sliding 1%. Shares of Hershey slid more than 2% following a downgrade to underweight from Morgan Stanley on the back of softer demand. On the other hand, Diamondback Energy rose 7% after announcing that it would acquire oil and gas producer Endeavor Energy Partners.
On Friday, the S&P 500 closed above 5,000 for the first time in history. The broader index has now risen more than 5% since the start of the year.
All three major averages are coming off their fifth straight week of gains, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite respectively adding 1.4% and 2.3% last week. The Dow edged fractionally higher.
“While U.S. stocks are now pricing in plenty of good news, we believe the rally has been well-supported,” wrote Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of UBS Global Wealth Management. The S&P 500 has now gone over 70 trading days without experiencing a 2% pullback, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
Some 61 names in the S&P 500 are set to report earnings in the week ahead, including gig economy stocks Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash. Companies such as AutoNation, Kraft Heinz, Hasbro and Coca-Cola will also shed light on the state of the U.S. consumer.
Traders will also watch out for the latest level on the consumer price index — or CPI, a key inflationary gauge — set to be released on Tuesday morning. More key economic data is expected on Thursday and Friday, including January’s reading on retail sales, production, imports and exports, housing starts and the producer price index, or PPI.
“CPI and PPI should print in line, but still be bullish,” Infrastructure Capital Advisors’ Jay Hatfield told CNBC. “We think that the market will continue to rally for the next week or two, and then maybe stall out as we wait for this inflation data to continue to come out.”
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