U.S. markets and stock ETFs gained Monday, with technology sector stocks leading the charge and the S&P 500 closing in on a record high.
On Monday, the tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 1.1%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) fell 0.3%, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) was 0.4% higher.
Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P 500 was just shy of a record intraday high of 3,386.15 from February, Reuters reports.
Investors will be watching for big retail earnings numbers this week out of Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) and Target Corp (NYSE: TGT). As of Friday, 457 companies in the S&P 500 posted second-quarter results, and 81.4% of those reported above dramatically lowered expectations, according to Refinitiv data.
“Earnings season in general has been much better than expected, but a big part of that is because the expectation has been so low,” Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird, told Reuters.
While the markets have more-or-less recovered from the coronavirus pandemic-induced selling, the pace of the recent advance has slowed. Many are now concerned about the economic recovery outlook, stalled negotiations over a new economic stimulus package, and growing tensions with China.
“We had this vibe that the bottom of the economic slump wasn’t quite as bad as people’s baseline forecast,” Lyn Graham-Taylor, senior rates strategist at Rabobank, told the Wall Street Journal. “But there’s also a feeling right now that the recovery is not going to be a quick ‘V’ shape. It’s going to be slower.”
Looking ahead, minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting will come out on Wednesday. Market observers expect the minutes to provide more insight into the central bank’s view of the ongoing economic recovery. Additionally, we will find updated data on housing starts.
The markets may suffer through increased political risk in the months ahead as the official presidential election season takes off with the Democratic National Convention running from Monday through Thursday.
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