U.S. stocks rose for a second day, climbing to session highs in the last hour of trading amid a broad-based rally. Treasuries pared gains and the dollar slipped.
Back-to-back gains in the S&P 500 clawed back all of last week’s losses. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 advanced with megacaps Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. offsetting declines in ecommerce giant Amazon.com Inc.
Consumer discretionary stocks led declines throughout the day, with Target Corp. falling after the retailer cut its profit outlook for the second time in three weeks amid an inventory surplus.
Sentiment whipsawed for much of the day with traders hesitant to take on risk amid concern monetary tightening by Federal Reserve will stifle growth.
But that changed in late trading as buyers emerged across the equity market, with 10 of the 11 sectors in the S&P advancing and the Russell 2000 of smallcaps climbing more than 1.5%.
Ahead of U.S. consumer price data later this week, uncertainty about the outlook has led to a back and forth between stocks and bonds, which saw equities rally as 10-year yields held below 3%.
“The yield on the 10-year note fell back below 3%, so it seems like the stock market is very focused on the Treasury market this week,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co.
“I’m not so sure that the 3% level is as important as the stock market does this week, but with no Fed speak this week and the CPI number not due out until Friday, we could see stocks whip around in both directions for a few days.”
The inflation reading for May due Friday may help traders discern the Fed’s rate path and whether it will continue to hike in 50-basis point increments. Strong hiring data last week provided some justification for an aggressive approach.
Earlier, the Reserve Bank of Australia blindsided the market with an outsized hike to combat rising costs. The RBA responded to price pressures with its biggest rate increase in 22 years – predicted by just three of 29 economists – and indicated it remained committed to “doing what is necessary” to rein in inflationary pressures.
The European Central Bank on Thursday is set to end trillions of euros of asset purchases and cement a path to exiting eight years of negative interest rates.
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