Skip to main content

The Dow and S&P 500 slipped on Monday, the first session after the biggest weekly percentage gains for the indexes this year, as investors gauged the likely path of interest rates from the Federal Reserve ahead of key U.S. inflation data due later in this holiday-shortened week. Canada’s main stock index also ended lower, pressured by losses for industrial shares.

Last week, the Fed maintained its guidance for three interest-rate cuts this year, and the S&P 500 and Dow had strong gains while the Nasdaq notched its biggest weekly percentage gain since mid-January. The S&P/TSX Composite Index squeaked to its first record closing high since 2022.

On Monday, Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee said he had penciled in three rate cuts for this year, while Fed Governor Lisa Cook said the central bank needs to proceed with caution as it decides when to start cutting interest rates.

“It’s a breather, the market has held really well, so people are waiting, there’s a lot of people waiting for that pullback,” said Joe Saluzzi, partner, co-founder and co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.

“What the Fed did was give the all clear for now, it’s really interesting what they are doing. They’re not cutting anything yet they just keep delaying it and the market is fine with that... but they’re doing a good job right now of saving the bullets for when they need them.”

Economic data showed sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell unexpectedly in February after mortgage rates increased during the month. The underlying trend remained strong with a chronic shortage of previously owned houses on the market.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index ended down 41.8 points, or 0.2%, at 21,942.28.

The energy sector, which accounts for 20% of the TSX’s weighting, added 2% as the price of oil settled up 1.6% at US$81.95 a barrel after orders from the Russian government to curb oil output.

But most other sectors ended lower, with industrials falling 1.3% and consumer discretionary down 1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 162.13 points, or 0.41%, to 39,313.77, the S&P 500 lost 15.97 points, or 0.31%, to 5,218.21 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 44.35 points, or 0.27%, to 16,384.47.

The Nasdaq held closer to unchanged for most of the session before fading late, as gains in chipmakers Nvidia and Micron Technology provided support. Nvidia rose 0.76% while Micron Technology surged 6.28% to a closing record of $117.04. Semiconductor shares were choppy, showing initial weakness after a report over the weekend said

China had introduced guidelines to phase out U.S. microprocessors supplied by Intel and AMD from government personal computers and servers.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index ended 0.34% lower, after alternating between gains and losses during the session. Intel ended down 1.74% and AMD closed 0.57% lower.

Expectations for a Fed rate cut in June were again increasing, with markets now pricing in a 71.9% chance for a cut of at least 25 basis points (bps), according to CME’s FedWatch Tool, up from around 54.7% a week ago.

The February reading of the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, is due on Friday, when U.S. markets will be closed for the Good Friday holiday.

A strong reading could jolt market expectations about the timing of a rate cut.

Boeing rose 1.36% after announcing a broad management shakeup and said CEO Dave Calhoun would step down from his position at the end of 2024. But the planemaker finished off session highs.

Walt Disney advanced 3.01% as the best performer on the Dow after Barclays upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “equal weight.”

On the NYSE declining issues outnumbered advancing ones by a 1.4-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, declining issues outnumbered advancers by about a 1.4-to-1 ratio. The S&P 500 posted 31 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 113 new highs and 110 new lows. Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.67 billion shares, compared with the 12.27 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Reuters, Globe staff

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe