U.S. Stocks Close Mostly Higher Amid Economic Optimism

Following the mixed performance seen last week, stocks moved mostly higher during trading on Monday. The major averages all moved to the upside on the day, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a particularly strong advance.

The major averages gave back ground going into the close but remained firmly positive. The Dow climbed 186.14 points or 0.5 percent to 34,393.98, the Nasdaq surged up 190.18 points or 1.4 percent to 13,661.17 and the S&P 500 jumped 41.19 points or 1 percent to 4,197.05.

Economic optimism contributed to the buying interest on Wall Street, as the country continues to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic.

Reopening plays saw notable strength on the day along with technology stocks, which benefited from a rebound in the value of bitcoin.

The economic calendar started the week relatively quiet but picks up in the coming days with the release of reports on new home sales, consumer confidence, durable goods orders, and personal income and spending.

The personal income and spending report includes a reading on inflation said to be preferred by the Federal Reserve, which could have an impact on the outlook for monetary policy.

While the Fed has repeatedly signaled it believes the recent increase in inflation largely reflects “transitory factors,” a spike in prices could still raise concerns about the central bank tapering its asset purchases.

Semiconductor stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the session, driving the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index up by 2.3 percent.

Considerable strength was also visible among software stocks, as reflected by the 2 percent jump by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.

Computer hardware stocks also turned in a strong performance on the day, with the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index climbing by 1.6 percent.

HP Inc. (HPQ) posted a strong gain after Citi upgraded its rating on the computer and printer maker’s stock to Buy from Neutral.

Oil, commercial real estate and networking stocks also saw notable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dipped by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, European stocks moved mostly higher in light trading, with several markets in the region closed for holidays. While the French CAC 40 Index rose by 0.4 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries moved to the upside after ending last Friday’s trading nearly unchanged. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, fell by 2.4 basis points to 1.608 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Tuesday may be impacted by reaction to reports on home prices, new home sales and consumer confidence.

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