February 24th, 2024

Stock market today: Wall Street holds steady after another record-setting week


By Elaine Kurtenbach And Matt Ott, The Associated Press on February 12, 2024.

FILE - A person looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, on Jan. 17, 2024. Asian shares were mixed on Monday, Feb. 12, with most regional markets closed for holidays, and U.S. futures edged lower after the S&P 500 ended last week above 5,000. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Wall Street is holding steady, coming off its latest record-setting week. The S&P 500 was little changed in early trading Monday after closing Friday above the 5,000 level for the first time. The Dow was also little changed, and the Nasdaq composite slipped 0.1%. The next big event for the market could be Tuesday’s update on U.S. inflation, which economists expect to show a drop back below 3%. Diamondback Energy climbed after saying it would buy Endeavor Energy Resources in a deal valued at roughly $26 billion, including debt. Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz are among the companies reporting results this week.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Coming off a record-breaking week, Wall Street drifted toward modest losses early Monday with more corporate earnings on tap and another inflation update coming from the U.S. government.

Futures for the S&P 500 were flat before the bell, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 0.1%.

This week brings an important update from the Labor Department on consumer inflation.

The U.S. price data may not have a major impact on monetary policy, “However, the good news is that U.S. inflation probably decreased at the beginning of the year, reinforcing expectations that the Federal Reserve may consider interest rate cuts in the coming months,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.

Wall Street has been on a run since late October, fueled by hopes that cooling inflation will lead the Federal Reserve to dial down the pressure by cutting interest rates.

Profits have mostly been better than expected for the big companies in the S&P 500 this reporting season, which is roughly two-thirds finished. That has burnished optimism on Wall Street, but contrarians say it may have gone too far and carried stocks to too-expensive heights.

Traders are flowing into some riskier investments at a quick enough pace that a contrarian measure kept by Bank of America is leaning more toward “sell” now than “buy,” though it’s not at convincing levels. The measure tracks how much fear and greed are in the market, and it suggested buying in October when fear was at a convincing high.

In corporate news, Diamondback Energy kicked off the week by announcing that it will buy rival Endeavor Energy Resources in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $26 billion to create a drilling giant in the Southwestern United States. Diamondback shares were unchanged before the market open Monday.

Later this week, Shopify, DoorDash and WK Kellogg report their most recent financial results.

Elsewhere, in Europe at midday Germany’s DAX and the CAC 40 in Paris each gained 0.4%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2%.

In Asian trading, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.4% to 7,614.90 and the Sensex in India shed 0.6% to 71,159.98. Thailand’s SET gained less than 0.1% and in Jakarta, the benchmark gained 0.9% ahead of an election to be held on Wednesday.

With mainland Chinese markets closed for the week for the Lunar New Year, there was a dearth of market moving news in the region. Tokyo’s markets also were shut Monday, for a one-day holiday.

In other trading Monday, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 67 cents to $76.17 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 62 cents on Friday.

Brent crude, the international standard, lost 78 cents to $81.41 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar fell to 149.08 Japanese yen from 149.28 yen. The euro fell to $1.0770 from $1.0784.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.6%, finishing above 5,000 for the first time, at 5,026.61. It was the 10th record in less than a month for the index, which closed its 14th winning week in the last 15 to continue a romp that began around Halloween.

The Nasdaq composite jumped 1.2% to pull within 0.4% of its own all-time high, which was set in 2021. It closed at 15,990.66.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was a laggard, slipping 0.1% to 38,749 a day after it set a record.

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