The S&P 500 ended little changed on Monday as Wall Street awaited a pivotal debt ceiling meeting and government officials scrambled to avert a default.
The benchmark index rose 0.02%, closing at 4,192.63, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 140.05 points, or 0.42%, to end at 33,286.58. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.5% to settle at 12,720.78.
Monday’s moves lifted the tech-heavy index to its highest close and highest intraday level since August.
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are set to meet Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET to continue debt-ceiling talks, with just 10 days left before the earliest when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the United States could realistically default. .
Veteran negotiators on both sides resumed talks Monday morning at the Capitol, but mandatory cuts to government spending remain a major hurdle. Republicans insist on cutting spending to baseline levels for 2022, but Biden has said any sweeping cuts without additional tax increases are out of the question.
“Investors are starting to worry about what happens with the debt ceiling talks, but on the other hand, the economy is still strong, the job market is really strong,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of the Independent Advisor Alliance.
Major averages come from a winning week. Led by technology stocks, stocks continue to rise despite uncertainty in Washington and steady inflation, with the S&P 500 hovering below 4,200.
While the tech trade may continue to work, some on Wall Street say a stronger market breadth is needed for the long-term rally to continue.
“If the rest of the market doesn’t participate, there is an end to that,” said Sylvia Jablonski, executive director at Defiance ETFs, adding that stronger market breadth could come after the Fed’s June meeting.
Monday heralded a relatively light week for economic data, with a second reading of first-quarter gross domestic product due for Thursday and a measure of personal consumption expenditures, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, due on Friday.
Wednesday’s release of the Fed’s minutes from its May meeting may shed light on how central bankers are considering the possibility of raising interest rates again.
First-quarter earnings season is drawing to a close, but notable reports loom on the horizon from Zoom Video, Lowe’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed reporting
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