U.S. stocks were edging higher early Tuesday morning after slipping Monday and losing some momentum after rallying last week on easing expectations for the path of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases.
The S&P 500 lost early gains and closed down 11.63 points, or 0.3%, at 3900.11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 62.42 points, or 0.2%, to 31438.26, while the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index retreated 83.07 points, or 0.7%, to 11524.55.
Traders described Monday as a quiet day, with low volumes and investors in a holding pattern, with few moving around money. Weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data have caused investors to reassess their expectations for a blistering pace of monetary-policy tightening from the Federal Reserve.
The Fed’s plans to raise rates and tame inflation have sparked volatility in global markets this year and sent the S&P 500 into a bear market, or a 20% drop from a recent peak, earlier this month.
But recent reports have indicated that the U.S. economy — and potentially inflation — is beginning to cool off. The latest evidence came Friday as the University of Michigan revised lower its June reading of inflation expectations over the next five to 10 years — to 3.1% from 3.3%.
U.S. consumer confidence data is also on the agenda in a week with few other major economic releases, leading some investors to adopt a “wait and see” stance, said Jun Rong Yeap of IG.
Meanwhile, benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney but fell in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index gained 0.3% to 26,959.17 while the Kospi in Seoul also rose 0.3%, to 2,408.57.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.6% to 6,743.20.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.9% to 22,033.62 and the Shanghai Composite index was nearly unchanged at 3,379.94. Shares fell in Taiwan and India but rose in Bangkok.
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