Stocks close higher following worst week of 2023, major indexes are on track to end February with declines: Live updates

Pro Picks: Watch all of Monday's big stock calls on CNBC
Pro Picks: Watch all of Monday's big stock calls on CNBC

Stocks rose Monday as traders tried to recover some ground following the worst week of the year on Wall Street. Investors also looked ahead to another big week in retail earnings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 72.17 points, or 0.22%, to close at 32,889.09. The S&P 500 was up 0.31% at 3,982.24, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.63% to 11,466.98.

The moves came as Treasury yields eased, following a jump on Friday after a hotter-than-expected reading from the Federal Reserve's favorite inflation metric.

"Because of the renewed focus on hotter inflation and the implications for the Fed, rates are once again driving equities," said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird. "The rapid shift in Fed funds expectations and the spike in short-term yields has been risk-off in the stock market, so some reprieve on rates today will likely boost equities."

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The S&P 500 fights to recover from its worst trading week of 2023.

The S&P 500 also got a boost from railroad operator Union Pacific, which climbed 10% after the company announced CEO Lance Fritz will step down this year.

Traders continued to absorb a bigger-than-expected increase in the latest reading for personal consumption expenditures, the central bank's preferred inflation gauge, which helped sink stocks Friday and pushed Treasury yields higher.

The early 2023 rally seems to be fading as investors worry that rates could stay higher for longer. The Fed latest meeting minutes showed officials are determined to keep raising rates until inflation comes down.

"A holiday-shortened week was more than enough time for bears to remind everyone that January's rally didn't mean stock-market volatility had been permanently exiled," said Chris Larkin, head of trading and investing at E-Trade. "Investors are coming to grips with rates being higher for longer and Friday's hotter-than-anticipated inflation data effectively confirmed just that."

On the economic data front, durable goods orders fell in January as consumers pulled back spending on big-ticket items.

In earnings, just 6% of the S&P 500 will report this week, but investors are looking for insight into the consumer. Several major retailers, restaurants, some travel and entertainment names as well as food companies are set to report. Target, Costco, Lowe's and Macy's are some of the big names posting earnings this week.

Lea la cobertura del mercado de hoy en español aquí.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the high on the 2-year Treasury note.

Stocks close higher to start the week

Stocks ended the day higher on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 72.17 points, or 0.22%, to close at 32,889.09. The S&P 500 was up 0.31% at 3,982.24, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.63% to 11,466.98.

— Tanaya Macheel

Morgan Stanley is still optimistic about Cinemark shares despite recent outperformance

Morgan Stanley is still bullish on Cinemark after the stock's recent rally.

The stock is up more than 60% this quarter, outperforming the S&P 500, which is up 4.1% over the same period. But analyst Benjamin Swinburne reiterated his overweight rating, writing in a note to clients Monday that the outlook for the movie industry and recent trends are keeping him optimistic that there's more room to rally.

Swinburne pointed to the stronger-than-expected box office performance for the first quarter so far as well as what he called a continuously strong operating performance. His optimism was also propped up by increasing confidence in the slate of films scheduled for this year, with approximately 20% more wide-release films expected for 2023 compared with 2022..

His reiterated rating comes as studios shift releases back to movie theatres after resorting to streaming as the pandemic hindered live gatherings. Swinburne said media companies will likely start looking more at earnings as opposed to growth in streaming as theater releases regain popularity.

"CNK is a levered play on this pivot," he said of the push to prioritize earnings over streaming data.

2023's rally marks a turn from recent years from the four prior years, when the stock lost share value each year. It last ended the year above where it started in 2018.

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— Alex Harring

Interest rates are driving the recent stock market performance, chart analysts say

Investors wondering what's pushing equity market moves should look at interest rates.

Chart analysts say last week's sell-off can be tied with the advances in bond yields. The three major stock market indexes posted their worst weeks of the year last week.

"The recent reset by the equity market feels more of a byproduct of rates higher, rather than a [simple] reset out of overbought territory for stocks," said JC O'Hara, chief market technician at Roth MKM, in a note to clients Sunday.

"Overall, we believe this pullback has been orderly for stocks," he added in his note. "However higher rates are becoming a large factor once again."

And analysts said fixed income moves could be a driver of the stock market going forward. CNBC Pro subscribers can read the full story here.

—Alex Harring

Needham's Martin calls Netflix price cuts a 'fool's errand' that signals rivals may be 'outcompeting' them

Needham's Laura Martin views price cuts from Netflix as a sign that competitors may be "outcompeting" the streaming giant.

"It does tell you that Netflix is having to resort to price to compete, so their long espoused theory that content is all they need to compete is wrong," she told CNBC's "The Exchange" on Monday, adding that the company may view lower prices as a last resort for growth.

According to Martin, lowering prices is a "fool's errand" given how the company stacks up against its streaming competitors with deeper pockets and larger core businesses. Disney, for example, can offset streaming losses through record margins in areas like its theme parks.

"These other companies are bigger than it," she said. "They can put Netflix out of business by lowering price. But this to me is a fool's errand in terms of a competitive strategy for Netflix, specifically."

Buying another business would mark one way to overcome this barrier, Martin said, but gaming isn't the answer given that it's a "money-loser."

The comments from Martin come after shares of Netflix struggled last week on news that it's reportedly cutting prices in over 30 countries.

— Samantha Subin

Fund manager Mark Mobius is bullish on emerging markets

Fund manager Mark Mobius has an optimistic outlook on emerging markets this year. 

"It's pretty interesting to note that while the Fed is considering raising rates, a lot of these emerging market countries are lowering rates," Mobius told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." He said Brazil, Chile and Mexico are looking to lower rates. 

Mobius, the founder of Mobius Capital Partners LLP, noted that some emerging countries are benefitting from Russia's war in Ukraine, because they are importing oil from Russia at a lower price. One country benefitting from the war is India, he said, adding that he is "very bullish" on the nation's speedy economic growth and plans to expand manufacturing for tech companies. Mobius added that his fund is still heavily invested in semiconductor leader Taiwan, which he said has "great bargains" despite its conflicts with China. 

—Pia Singh

Altria falls as much as 1.4% on WSJ report it's exploring buying NJOY Holdings

Shares of Altria Group fell as much as 1.4% midday Monday after a Wall Street Journal report said it's in advanced talks to buy electronic cigarette and vaping startup NJOY Holdings for "at least" $2.75 billion.

The move would come after Altria lost 95% of its $13 billion investment in vaping products maker Juul.

Philip Morris International and Universal Corp. each lost as much as 0.5% intraday, Vector Group dropped as much as 0.8% and Turning Point Brands fell as much as 1.1% intraday.

— Scott Schnipper

JPMorgan's Matejka expects first quarter to mark high for the year, says value vs growth trade has 'stalled'

Don't be surprised if the first quarter of 2023 marks the high of the year for the major indices, according to JPMorgan equity strategist Mislav Matejka.

"Big picture, at the overall market level, we believe Q1 will mark the high point for the index levels this year, as the fundamental uplift does not come in Q2/Q3, post the relief in activity that is seen in Q1," he wrote in a Monday note to clients.

Along with this outlook, Matejka believes the value versus growth trade has "stalled" in 2023 after one of its best outperforming runs since the tech bubble, as bond yields pushed higher.

Now, expectations that inflation has likely peaked, and the notion that bond yields in the U.S. should continue moving lower, have put a dent in value's solid runup.

"Some of the factors behind last year's Value outperformance are getting eroded, in our view, and specifically we advised last October to get less negative on the Tech space," he wrote.

Given this backdrop, the firm is moving to a neutral stance on the value vs. growth trade, with Matejka expecting the move to an underweight stance to occur within the next two months.

Even if the market shifts back into recession mode during the second half, the setup doesn't look so rosy for value, Matejka said.

"Given that Fed wants to ensure that inflation is defeated, they might overstay their welcome, especially as labor markets remain tight, and they are typically slower moving economic indicators," he wrote, adding that this could contribute to further inversion of the yield curve.

"In a sense, market could be pricing in a policy mistake, which would not help Value style to work," he added.

—Samantha Subin

The VIX may be showing a short-term bullish signal, says E-Trade's Larkin

Stocks are beginning the week higher after the major averages posted their biggest weekly losses on 2023. Despite last week's volatility, the VIX, the stock market's so-called "fear index," may have flashed a potentially short-term bullish signal, according to Chris Larkin, head of trading and investing at E-Trade.

"While the VIX typically moves in the opposite direction of the market, the VIX ended the week lower than it closed on Tuesday, signaling the options market expected less volatility even as the S&P 500 pulled back," Larkin said Monday. "Similar episodes since 1990 have been followed by larger-than-average short-term gains."

The VIX, or the Cboe Volatility Index, measures the market's expectation of volatility over the coming 30 days based on trading in S&P 500 options.

— Tanaya Macheel

Deutsche Bank reiterates buy rating on Playa Hotels & Resorts

Deutsche Bank slightly lowered its price target on Playa Hotels & Resorts but maintained its buy rating on it.

"PLYA has significantly more visibility into 1H23 earnings when compared with its lodging peers and should continue to benefit from a gradual recovery in international-inbound travel to warm weather destinations in North America," Analyst Chris Woronka wrote in a note to clients on Sunday.

The bank noted that the hospitality company is tapping into demand from Hyatt and Hilton customers. Woronka anticipates Playa's relative value proposition will resonate with customers especially if room rates continue to rise in non all-inclusive hotels in the U.S. and Caribbean/Latin America regions. 

Most importantly, Woronka said, the firm is encouraged by the company's willingness and ability to buy back stock at what it believes to be "clearly depressed levels."

The bank revised its 2023 adjusted EBITDA to $265.4 million from $238.1 million after the company beat fourth-quarter earnings expectations. The stock is continuing its rally on Monday, adding 14% so far this month after gaining 29% in the past six months.

—Pia Singh

Stocks making the biggest moves midday

Here are some of the stocks making the biggest moves midday:

  • Union Pacific – Union Pacific's stock nearly 10% after the company announced that its current CEO would step down this year. Bank of America upgraded the railroad operator to a buy from neutral rating following the leadership change.
  • Fisker – Shares of the electric vehicle startup surged more than 27% after Fisker maintained its 2023 vehicle production target and said it spent less than anticipated in 2022. The company also posted a larger-than-expected loss and revenue miss for the fourth quarter, according to StreetAccount.
  • Tesla – Shares of Tesla rose 4% following a Reuters report that the company's Brandenburg, Germany plant of the electric vehicle maker hit a production rate of 4,000 vehicles per week ahead of schedule.

See the full list here.

— Alex Harring

The bear market could resume in March, says Morgan Stanley's Wilson

The stock market's recent attempt to pull out of a downtrend could soon come to an end, according to Morgan Stanley.

Mike Wilson, the firm's chief U.S. equity strategist, said in a note to clients Monday that the S&P 500 is on the verge of falling back into a bear market.

"With the equity market showing signs of exhaustion after the last Fed meeting, the S&P 500 is at critical technical support. Given our view on earnings, March is a high risk month for the bear market to resume," Wilson said.

For more, read the full story on CNBC Pro.

—Jesse Pound, Tanaya Macheel

Corporations are in an earnings slump and have a tough year ahead, says J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Kelly

With most of the S&P 500 earnings reports behind, it's clear companies are in an earnings slump and have a difficult year ahead regardless of the recession scenario, according to David Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

"As of last Thursday, with almost 95% of market cap reporting, S&P 500 operating earnings per share were tracking $49.37, down 13% from a year earlier," he said in a note Monday. "For all of 2022, it now appears that S&P500 operating EPS will fall by roughly 6%, following a spectacular 70% gain the year before."

"Even if the economy avoids recession, 2023 will be a difficult year for corporate profits," Kelly added. "If there is a recession, profits will likely fall sharply. However, as the economy stabilizes and settles into what we believe should be a slow-growth, low-inflation and low-to-moderate interest rate environment, profits should recover and likely outpace economic growth overall."

—Tanaya Macheel

Ark Invest's Cathie Wood says Nvidia's valuation has gotten very high

Ark Invest's Cathie Wood said her flagship Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK) exited chipmaker Nvidia due to high valuation.

"We like Nvidia. We think it's going to be a good stock. It's the 'check the box' AI company, and rightly so we own it in other of our funds ARKQ ARKW and some of our Japanese mutual funds so we do own it," Wood said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Monday. "But for our flagship fund where we we've consolidated towards our highest conviction names, part of that has to do with valuation. Its valuation is very high."

Shares of Nvidia has rallied a whopping 60% this year alone after the chipmaker reported a beat on the top and bottom line. Analysts are also bullish on the company's AI vision.

—Yun Li

Bank of America upgrades Union Pacific shares

Bank of America says it's time to buy Union Pacific after the company announced its current CEO, Lance Fritz, would be stepping down this year. 

Analyst Ken Hoexter upgraded the railroad operator's shares to buy from neutral. Hoexter said the leadership change shows the company is prioritizing an operational fix after it was flagged for poor service by the Surface Transportation Board last year. 

"This in our view highlights the service and operational underperformance UNP has experienced over the past few years, one of the driving points in our downgrade last month," Hoexter wrote Monday. "It also follows UNP being called to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in December to detail its use of embargoes and poor service, the first time a single rail had been called in since CSX in 2016."

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more about his upgrade here.

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Union Pacific stock

— Hakyung Kim

Steve Eisman says the easy days of buying tech stocks to beat the market are over

Steve Eisman of "The Big Short" fame believes investors can no longer beat the market simply by investing in growth stocks, given the surge in interest rates.

"I think the days of people beating the market by just investing in tech are going to be over, and we're going to go to a new paradigm," Eisman, senior portfolio manager at Neuberger Berman, said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Monday.

The widely followed investor who spotted the housing crisis before most believes that the surge in interest rates on the back of the Federal Reserve's aggressive tightening is creating a sea change in the investing world.

He revealed that he's buying two-year risk-free Treasuries yielding 4.8%.

—Yun Li

These are the levels to watch on the S&P 500 chart

Technical strategists see stocks stabilizing temporarily and expect some support around the 200-day moving average on the S&P 500.

That level is 3,940, and is basically the average of the last 200 closing prices. It is viewed as a momentum indicator and should the support fail, more losses could be ahead for the index. The S&P 500 was higher Monday after its worst weekly loss of the year last week.

Katie Stockton, founder of Fairlead Strategies, said the S&P 500 became oversold Thursday, after its three-week sell-off. But there could be stabilization around 3,940 temporarily. "We assume the pullback will resurface by next week given the recent downturn in the weekly stochastics from overbought territory," she wrote in a note.

Jonathan Krinsky of BTIG looks at the same level for support, as well as another zone on the index where there was high volume over the last few years. That level is 3,925 to 3,950 on the S&P 500. Those levels were tested last week.

"While these areas are likely to provide some support in the near-term, we expect an eventual breakdown below which would open the door to Dec. lows (3775). Rates and the Dollar continue to press higher with 2yr yields hitting fresh cycle highs," he wrote in a note.

—Patti Domm

Stocks open higher

U.S. equities opened higher on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 231.26 points, or 0.7%. The S&P 500 rose 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.1%.

— Tanaya Macheel

Durable goods orders post steep decline in January

Durable goods orders tumbled in January, indicating that consumers are pulling back spending on big-ticket items.

Sales of long-lasting goods like appliances, TVs and autos slid 4.5% for the month, worse than even the Dow Jones estimate for a 3.6% decline. That came on the heels of a 5.1% increase in December.

Excluding a sharp decline in transportation, new orders actually increased 0.7%. However, excluding defense, orders were down 5.1%. A 13.3% slide in transportation equipment propelled the big decline.

—Jeff Cox

Best Buy slips on Telsey downgrade

Best Buy shed 1.8% in the premarket Monday after being downgraded by Telsey Advisory Group. The Wall Street firm cited the current economic environment and disappointing outlook from other retailers, like Home Depot and Walmart, for the downgrade.

"In the near term, we believe Best Buy's business is likely to experience a further decline related to the challenging macro trends weighing on discretionary consumer demand, given high inflation and rising interest rates — resulting in our lower 2023 forecasts for both sales and profits," analyst Joseph Feldman wrote in a note to clients.

He also cut is price target to $83 per share from $88. Long term, he expects Best Buy to remain one of the better operators in retail.

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Best Buy's one-day performance

— Michelle Fox

Berkshire shares could be active in Monday's trading

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway could be on the move during Monday's trading after the conglomerate reported Saturday that its operating profits fell during the fourth quarter amid inflationary pressures.

Berkshire's operating earnings — which encompass profits made from the myriad of businesses owned by the conglomerate like insurance, railroads and utilities — totaled $6.7 billion last quarter, down 7.9% from a year ago.

The Omaha-based company used $2.855 billion to buy back shares in the quarter, bringing the 2022 total to nearly $8 billion. It marked a slowdown from 2021's record $27 billion as the billionaire investor found external opportunities.

The "Oracle of Omaha" defended stock buybacks in Berkshire's annual letter, calling critics "either an economic illiterate or a silver-tongued demagogue."

— Yun Li

2-year yield reached highest level since 2007

The 2-year yield added to its February gains Monday, reaching 4.8% on the day. That's its highest level since July 2007. Short-term rates have been moving higher this month as traders fret over the possibility of tighter monetary policy for longer than anticipated.

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2-year rate hits highest level since July 2007

— Fred Imbert

JPMorgan sees nearly 20% upside for Zillow

JPMorgan analyst Dae Lee thinks Zillow shares can jump nearly 20% from here, noting the company is well positioned to weather near-term housing market headwinds.

"We believe Zillow's leadership as the most visited online real estate platform, core demand generation-based business model, solid margins (26% in '22), and active share repurchase program best position Zillow to navigate the [near-term] real estate industry challenges and emerge stronger on the other end," Lee wrote in a Monday note.

— Hakyung Kim

Latest Fed fears may be overblown, Vital Knowledge says

Stocks fell sharply last week as new data and Fed commentary stoked fears of higher rates for longer, pushing Treasury yields higher. Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge, however, thinks these concerns may be overblown.

"The PCE was indeed hot, but no more so than the jobs report, CPI, PPI, retail sales, etc., already were for Jan – the question now is will things stay as robust in Feb? We don't think so, especially on the employment front," Crisafulli said in a note.

— Fred Imbert, Michael Bloom

Pfizer in talks to acquire biotech firm Seagen: Wall Street Journal

Pfizer is in talks to acquire biotech firm Seagen, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal is "expected to command at a premium" above Seagen's market capitalization of roughly $30 billion, the people told the Wall Street Journal, adding that discussions are at an early stage and there is no guarantee of a deal.

The report comes after Seagen was in advanced talks last year to be acquired by Merck, in a deal that would have been worth $40 billion or more, WSJ previously reported. The two sides failed to reach agreement, it said.

— Lim Hui Jie

Stock futures open flat

Stock futures opened little changed on Sunday evening.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 15 points, or 0.05%. The S&P 500 lost 0.01%. The Nasdaq Composite ticked up by 0.01%.

— Tanaya Macheel