With a Big Week Ahead, Markets Are in a Holding Pattern

Friday jobs report could cause big swing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2023 3:49 PM CST
Stocks Hold Steady at Start of Big Week
People are reflected on a glass window of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Stocks drifted to a mixed close Monday as Wall Street remained in a holding pattern ahead of a potentially big week. The S&P 500 rose 2.78 points, or 0.1%, to 4,048.42 after coming off its first winning week in the last four. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 40.47, or 0.1%, to 33,431.44, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 13.27, or 0.1%, to 11,675.74. Treasury yields were holding steady following big recent moves higher. The stock market has found some footing over the last week after a roller-coaster start to the year where a swift rise gave way to a sharp tumble. At the center of it all has been high inflation and expectations for what the Federal Reserve will do about it.

On Wall Street, technology stocks were some of the market's strongest, the AP reports. They tend to be some of the biggest beneficiaries of lower interest rates, which can boost demand by investors for high-growth companies. Apple rose 1.9%, and Microsoft ticked up 0.6% to make the companies the two biggest forces lifting the S&P 500. On the losing end was Tesla, which fell 2%. Over the weekend, it cut the prices of two of its most expensive vehicles.

More action may be ahead later this week, with several potentially market-moving events on the calendar. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify before Congress for two days, beginning on Tuesday. Other Fed officials' comments recently have led to big swings in markets, as traders try to get ahead of the next moves by the Fed. Brian Jacobsen, senior investment strategist at Allspring Global Investments, isn't expecting anything surprising from the testimony. That's partly because an important data release is scheduled for later in the week on Friday, one that could by itself cause a big swing in the Fed's thinking. That’s when the government will release its latest monthly jobs report. If the reading is stronger than expected, particularly if it shows a big gain in wages, it could shake Wall Street and force it to raise rate expectations even higher.

(More stock market stories.)

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