Stocks were mixed on Monday, as investors continue to digest Friday’s jobs report and stock market rally. Shortly after the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly rose above an all-time closing high.
By noon, the Dow lost 132 points, or 0.4%, while the S&P 500 was down 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.1%. Before turning lower, the Dow topped 34,800, above its all-time closing high of 34,777.
Investors are hesitant to pile into stocks right now. The strong jobs report on Friday presented some signs of inflation. If inflation becomes strong enough to force the Federal Reserve to take actions that would lift bond yields, it would in turn put downward pressure on stock valuations. The “inflation debate remains undecided and will likely stay that way for awhile longer,” writes Mike Wilson, chief U.S. equity strategist at Morgan Stanley. “This will keep equity markets choppy.”
The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.2% after ending Friday at a record level.
The Labor Department reported 559,000 new nonfarm jobs were created in May, which lagged behind economists’ forecasts for a second month. Analysts at BCA Research say more workers will return to the labor market once child care and educational services reopen, and federal supplementary unemployment insurance benefits expire.
Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management, said the possibility of high inflation coinciding with a slowdown in economic and corporate profit growth is what should concern investors, particularly as the gap between equities’ earnings yield and bond yields is at its lowest level since 2008.
Investors also were weighing the Group of Seven industrialized nations’ agreement to pursue a 15% global minimum tax for companies, though there is still a long road to implementation. Electronic retailing giant Amazon would be excluded from the G-7 tax deal on account of its low margins, experts said.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology is holding its annual meeting on Monday, which often leads to price moves in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.
Biogen (ticker: BIIB) stock was halted ahead of news that the Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s Alzheimer’s disease therapy, aducanumab.
Tellurian (TELL) stock gained 2.9% after getting upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.
Visa (V) stock added 0.3% after getting upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Sandler.
Splunk (SPLK) stock gained 3% after getting upgraded to Buy from Hold at Summit Insights.
Fiserv (FISV) stock dropped 2.8% after getting downgraded to Hold from Buy at Truist.
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