Tuesday's Market Minute: Stocks Gain, Volatility Falls

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During Monday’s trading session, we saw a resurgence in the reopening trade amid falling cases of COVID-19. In the U.S., cases have fallen to their lowest level since June 2020. The S&P 500 (SPX) was up 1%, while the Nasdaq-100 (NDX) rose by 1.7%. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Avg. ($DJI) and the small-cap Russell 2000 (RUT) ended the day up a little more than half a percent. The gains pushed the SPX into positive territory for the month of May, which is now down only about one percent from record highs made on May 7. It’s a positive overall sign for U.S. stocks headed into the holiday weekend, which is further supported by a falling VIX.

The CBOE Volatility Index fell 8.7% on Monday and settled at 18.40. That’s not the fear gauge’s lowest reading of the year, but is significantly down from the 40-level seen last June. Technology stocks also saw a boost Monday led by Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). Risk-appetite among investors was back on after U.S. Federal Reserve officials calmed down inflation worries. Gold prices are slightly lower Tuesday morning as is the dollar, which is at a 4.5-month low. Traders will be watching today if these trends hold ahead of Memorial Day and the three-day weekend.

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