Stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance for much of the trading session on Monday but managed to end the day mostly higher. The tech-heavy Nasdaq reached its best closing level in well over eight months, while the Dow snapped a five-session losing streak.
The major averages all finished the day in positive territory. The Nasdaq climbed 80.47 points or 0.7 percent to 12,365.21, the S&P 500 rose 12.20 points or 0.3 percent to 4,136.28 and the Dow inched up 47.98 points or 0.1 percent to 33,348.60.
The higher close on Wall Street may partly have reflected optimism about an eventual agreement on raising the U.S. debt following comments from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Yellen said the administration and congressional Republicans are making progress in their negotiations over federal spending and raising the debt limit.
“I’m hopeful. I think the negotiations are very active. I’m told they have found some areas of agreement,” Yellen said in an interview following a meeting of G-7 finance ministers in Japan on Saturday.
President Joe Biden also expressed optimism about the talks in remarks to reporters over the weekend, although House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told NBC News on Monday that the two sides are still “far apart.”
“It seems like they want to look like they’re in a meeting,” McCarthy said outside the Capitol. “They’re not talking anything serious.”
Overall trading activity remained somewhat subdued, however, as traders looked ahead to the release of some key economic data in the coming days.
Remarks by Federal Reserve officials are also likely to attract attention this week, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell due to participate in a Perspectives on Monetary Policy panel before the Thomas Laubach Research Conference on Friday.
The New York Fed released a report this morning showing a substantial downturn in regional manufacturing activity in the month of May.
Semiconductor stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the session, resulting in a 2.7 surge by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.
Substantial strength also emerged among banking stocks, as reflected by the 2.6 percent jump by the KBW Bank Index.
Computer hardware stocks also showed a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index up by 2.5 percent.
Biotechnology, airline and steel stocks also saw notable strength, while considerable weakness was visible among utilities stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.8 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1.2 percent.
The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index inched up by 0.1 percent and the German DAX Index closed just above the unchanged line.
In the bond market, treasuries extended the notable pullback seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose by 4.5 basis points to 3.508 percent.
News regarding the debt ceiling negotiations may attract attention on Tuesday, while traders are also likely to keep an eye on reports on retail sales and industrial production.
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