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Stocks gained on Monday as investors monitored upbeat economic data out of China and awaited key retail sales and earnings results out from major U.S. companies later this week.
The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq each opened higher. The Dow rose with shares of Boeing (BA) leading the way higher after the aircraft-maker’s head of commercial airplanes told Bloomberg he was “hopeful” that China would resume orders of the 737 Max soon following more than two years of grounding.
Stronger-than-expected economic data out of China also helped lift traders’ sentiment at the start of the week. The world’s second-largest economy saw both retail sales and industrial production unexpectedly accelerate in October over last year, suggesting the economic impact from multiple COVID-19 waves and stay-in-place restrictions was beginning to ease. However, new-home prices in China fell by about 0.25% in October versus September, marking the biggest drop in more than six years as the country’s real estate market came under continued pressure.
Investors this week are also set to receive new data from the Commerce Department on U.S. retail sales. The report is likely to show a 1.3% month-on-month jump in sales for October after a more sanguine 0.7% rise in September. And retail earnings results from major names including Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT), Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) will offer additional details on the state of the consumer.
For U.S. stocks, last week marked a brief pause after a record-setting run-up. The S&P 500 posted a weekly decline for the first time in six weeks, but remained within 0.8% of its all-time intraday high as of Friday’s close. The Dow and Nasdaq were also not far off from their own record levels.
A hotter-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) last week tempered some of investors’ ebullience for equities, and suggested heightened inflationary pressures were stickier than previously expected. The CPI jumped by a greater-than-expected 6.2% in October compared to the prior year, marking the fastest annual rise since 1990. Meanwhile, the latest print on U.S. job openings came in higher-than-expected to a near-record high of more than 10.4 million, and a separate report showed consumer sentiment deteriorated early this month as Americans nervously eyed rising prices.
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