Wall St extends winning streak; eyes Fed speakers, Treasury auctions

By Chuck Mikolajczak

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Monday as investors awaited guidance from a host of Federal Reserve policymakers later in the week on the central bank’s policy path, with a large amount of bond supply also due to hit the market.

Equities last week posted their biggest weekly percentage gain in about a year, as a weaker-than-expected U.S. payrolls report on Friday sent Treasury yields lower on the view the Fed was done hiking interest rates and could start cutting them next year.

Market expectations that the Fed will hold interest rates steady at its December meeting stand at 90.4%, down from 95.2 on Friday but above the 74.4% a week ago. Expectations for a rate cut of at least 25 basis points have grown to more than 50% at the May 2024 meeting, according to CME’s FedWatch Tool.

Markets will look for more clarity on the Fed’s intentions from officials speaking later in the week, including Chair Jerome Powell, and voting members such as New York Fed chief John Williams and Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan.

“Unless something in the economic data prompts it, you won’t see them change their tone,” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.

Expectations the Fed was likely done with rate hikes sent the S&P 500 up 5.85% last week and the Nasdaq up 6.61%, their biggest weekly jumps since November 2022.

“Whatever that buying force was that sort of went rampant on Friday is not around today and so a lot of these names are drifting back down, and yields are a little higher,” said Massocca.

Meanwhile, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which slid to five-week lows on Friday, reversed course to reach a high of 4.668% on Monday, ahead of this week’s Treasury auction of about $112 billion in three-year and 10-year notes, as well as 30-year bonds.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 34.54 points, or 0.10%, to 34,095.86; the S&P 500 gained 7.64 points, or 0.18 %, at 4,365.98; and the Nasdaq Composite gained 40.50 points, or 0.30 %, at 13,518.78.

The session marks the sixth straight advance for the Dow and S&P 500 and seventh straight gain for the Nasdaq. The streak is the longest for the S&P 500 since early June, since July for the Dow and since January for the Nasdaq.

The economic-data calendar for this week is sparse, with weekly jobless claims numbers due on Thursday and University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment report on Friday.

Walt Disney, Instacart and Biogen are among major companies reporting earnings this week.

A total of 403 companies in the S&P 500 have reported profits through Friday the third quarter, with 81.6% surpassing analyst estimates, per LSEG data.

Dish Network plummeted 37.4% to close at $3.44 after touching a 25-year low of $3.41 on news that the pay-TV provider missed third-quarter revenue estimates and CEO Erik Carlson would step down from the role.

Bumble fell 4.4% as the dating app operator said founder Whitney Wolfe Herd will step down as chief executive.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 2.3-to-1 ratio on the NYSE while on the Nasdaq declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 1.8-to-1 ratio.

The NYSE had 64 new highs and 43 new lows. The S&P 500 posted nine new 52-week highs and no new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 113 new lows.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Richard Chang)