US stocks: Dow, S&P edge up as data, debt ceiling curb gains


NEW YORK: The S&P 500 and the Dow ended on Monday with modest gains after manufacturing data raised fears of a slowing US economy, which could help lower inflation amid ongoing debt ceiling negotiations while a rise in Meta stocks helped the Nasdaq soar.
The New York Federal Reserve Index “Empire States”.a measure of manufacturing activity in upstate New York, adjusting for current business conditions, fell to -31.8 in May versus -3.75 expectations.
“It’s always difficult because we’re in a period where bad news is actually good news from a stock perspective and vice versa, but the market still reacts when you get bad numbers because that’s when everyone starts to get hyped about a recession to worry about.” said Tim Ghriskey, senior portfolio strategist at Ingalls & Snyder in New York.
“So we want the economy to be weak enough to bring down inflation, but not so weak that there’s a recession.”
Analysts warned that the barometer was also volatile, mitigating its impact.
The row in Washington between the White House and Republicans over the debt ceiling talks also kept markets subdued. A meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, although an agreement was unlikely to be reached then.
“We’ve been through this before, eventually they come to their senses and do something, compromise and actually get something done instead of playing this chicken game. It really comes down to who blinks first,” Ghriskey said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 47.98 points, or 0.14%, to 33,348.6, the S&P 500 was up 12.2 points, or 0.30%, to 4,136.28 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 80.47 points or 0.66% to 12,365.21.
Meta Platforms Inc climbed 2.16% and was a top booster for both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 after Loop Capital upgraded its rating from hold to buy.
In a relatively weak week for economic data, investors will focus on retail sales, weekly jobless claims and housing data.
Slowing economic data have raised expectations for when the Federal Reserve will halt its cycle of rate hikes as the central bank tries to rein in high inflation.
On Monday, several Fed officials said they expect interest rates to remain high, at odds with market expectations of a rate cut before year-end.
In addition, Richmond Federal Reserve Chairman Thomas Barkin said in an interview with Reuters that he is not yet convinced that inflation is on a steady downward path, although he agrees that the Fed will take a data-dependent approach to further hikes use approach.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell is due to deliver a speech on Friday and investors will be watching his comments for signals on where interest rates are headed this year.
Oneok Inc tumbled 9.06% after it agreed to buy US pipeline operator Magellan Midstream Partners in an $18.8 billion deal on Sunday. Magellan’s shares are up 12.99%.
Western Digital Corp rose 11.26% after Reuters reported that the memory chipmaker and its Japanese JV partner Kioxia Holdings Corp are accelerating merger talks.
Volume on US exchanges was 9.06 billion shares compared to the average of 11.1 billion for the entire session over the last 20 trading days.
Rising issues outpaced declines on the NYSE by 2.10 to 1; On the Nasdaq, a 1.85 to 1 ratio favored the movers.
The S&P 500 posted nine new 52-week highs and seven new lows; The Nasdaq Composite posted 59 new highs and 136 new lows.

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