The Dow rose on Monday as investors braced for a Federal Reserve meeting during the week and earnings from some of the biggest companies to gauge the impact of a strong dollar and soaring inflation, while the Nasdaq dipped on declines in Microsoft.
Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc , Microsoft Corp and Meta Platforms Inc , which together account for $8.9 trillion in market capitalization, or a quarter of the benchmark index’s weightage, are scheduled to post earnings this week.
“The really big part of earnings season is here. So with confidence coming back right now, it can also quickly dissipate if we have disappointments from companies like Google and Microsoft on Tuesday,” said Dennis Dick, retail trader at Triple D Trading.
Shares of the high-growth companies were mixed in the first hour of trading.
Microsoft fell 0.5% after Wells Fargo cut its price target, citing risks from inflation, rising rates and a stronger dollar on earnings.
The dollar, hovering near 20-year highs following an aggressive tightening cycle by the Fed, is seen as a headwind for US companies, especially those with big global operations.
All of the three major indexes closed higher last week. The tech heavy Nasdaq added 3.3%, the S&P 500 2.4% and the Dow gained 2%.
The Fed is widely expected to deliver another super-sized 75 basis-point rate hike at the end of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, effectively ending pandemic-era support for the US economy.
Focus will also be on the press conference by Chair Jerome Powell for clues on policymakers’ thinking on future rate hikes amid concerns over an aggressive tightening tipping the economy into a recession.
“We expect Powell to remind that 75bps hikes are unusually large and that the funds rate is close to the FOMC’s estimate of its longer-run level,” said Paolo Zanghieri, senior economist at Generali Investments.
“This, and the signs of a material slowdown of the economy should tilt the balance for a 50 bps hike (in September), followed by another one in November and December.”
Futures contracts tied to the US Federal Reserve’s policy rate suggested on Monday that benchmark interest rates will peak in January 2023 compared to February last week.
Meanwhile, advance second-quarter GDP data on Thursday is likely to be negative after the US economy contracted in the first three months of the year.
A traditional measure of a recession is two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction, though the group that is the official arbiter of US recessions looks at a broad range of indicators instead, including jobs and spending.
At 10:12 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 123.98 points, or 0.39%, at 32,023.27. The S&P 500 was up 5.49 points, or 0.14%, at 3,967.12, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 26.93 points, or 0.23 %, at 11,807.19.
Shares of Newmont Corp shed 10% after the miner raised its annual cost forecast and missed its second-quarter profit, hurt by lower gold prices and inflationary pressures.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.71-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.07-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 29 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 52 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)