Stocks trade mixed on Wall Street after big gains last week

Business

Stocks were mixed to slightly lower in afternoon trading Monday, as traders reassessed their investments after the market’s big gains the prior week. Investors will be turning their attention to additional economic data, including Friday’s jobs report.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% as of 1:01 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 204 points, or 0.6%, to 34,229, dragged lower by Boeing and UnitedHealth Group. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.7%, lifted by big technology companies like Microsoft and Apple.

Most companies within the S&P 500 index were slipping, but gains from technology stocks helped temper the losses. Utilities also made solid gains.

The last two weeks have been a bit of a seesaw for investors, as Wall Street tries to navigate the potential threat of inflation along with the strong U.S. economic recovery that’s coming as the pandemic wanes. Two weeks ago, markets fell sharply after Federal Reserve officials signaled to investors that they planned to raise interest rates as soon as 2023, much earlier than the market has anticipated.

Last week investors got data that showed inflation being relatively under control. Investors were also encouraged by progress in Washington on an infrastructure spending plan, which helped the market recover most of the previous week’s losses.

Much of the choppiness in the markets is a result of the speed at which the economy has bounced back from its pandemic slump.

“When you come out of it rapidly it starts to raise concerns for investors, but I would remind them that we are still early in a cycle,” said Brian Levitt, global market strategist at Invesco. “I would expect this to play out over time.”

Economic growth will eventually slow as the recovery progresses, Levitt said, and markets are already looking ahead to that scenario in 2022 and beyond.

Bond yields were lower. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.47% from 1.53% on Friday. That weighed on banks, which benefit from higher yields that allow them to charge more lucrative interest on loans. M&T Bank fell 2.8%.

Energy companies also fell as crude oil prices slipped 1.1%. Chevron fell 2.7%.

The big economic data point this week will be Friday’s jobs report. Economists are expecting that U.S. employers created 685,000 jobs in June, an improvement from the 559,000 jobs that were created in May. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 5.6%.

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