Stocks rise with tech-related share boost; oil falls on Saudi price cuts

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Global stock indexes rose on Monday with gains in U.S. tech-related shares driving a more than a 2% jump in the Nasdaq, while U.S. oil prices dropped 4% as price cuts by top exporter Saudi Arabia overshadowed Middle East tensions.

Shares of Boeing fell 8% and limited gains in the Dow Jones industrial average. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered the temporary grounding of some Boeing 737 MAX 9 jets fitted with a panel that blew off an Alaska Air Group jet in midair on Friday.

The U.S. dollar and Treasury yields eased as investors awaited this week’s U.S. inflation data and weighed when the U.S. central bank might start cutting interest rates. A New York Federal Reserve report said consumers expect lower inflation as well as weaker income and spending over the next several years.

U.S. consumer price data for December, due Thursday, is expected to show headline inflation rose 0.2% in the month, for a 3.2% annual gain.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin jumped 7.1% to$47,065, the highest level since April 2022. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is due to decide whether to approve bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

Stock investors are looking ahead to quarterly results from companies. Major banks including JPMorgan Chase get the next U.S. reporting period under way with reports due Friday.

The S&P 500 technology index rose 2.8% on the day.

“We do think the gains (in megacaps) will be sustainable after last year’s outperformance,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance.

The S&P 500’s 24% rally in 2023 has increased valuations, so much is riding on the upcoming earnings season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 216.90 points, or 0.58%, to 37,683.01, the gained 66.30 points, or 1.41%, at 4,763.54 and the climbed 319.70 points, or 2.20%, to 14,843.77.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 nations, gained 0.89%, while European stocks ended up 0.4%.

In energy, U.S. crude fell $3.04, or 4.1%, to settle at $70.77 a barrel, while Brent crude fell $2.64, or 3.4% to settle at $76.12.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday cut the February official selling price (OSP) of its flagship Arab Light crude to Asia to the lowest level in 27 months. Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions were also on the radar as disruptions in the Red Sea raised shipping costs in Europe, while the Israeli conflict with Hamas threatened to spread to Lebanon.

In afternoon trading, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was down three basis points (bps) at 4.011%.

The dollar dropped 0.3% against the yen to 144.21, while the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies of other major trading partners, was down 0.2% at 102.28.

Fed funds futures traders are pricing in rate cuts beginning in March, though the odds of a move that soon have fallen.

Friday’s data gave a mixed picture: a Labor Department report showed U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in December, while a survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed activity in the services sector fell in December.

In the precious metals market, gold prices fell to a three-week low.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; Johann M Cherian and Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; and Nell Mackenzie in London; editing by Dhara Ranasinghe, Jason Neely, Chizu Nomiyama, Sharon Singleton and Richard Chang)