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Stocks rebounded from last week's lows but are still on track to end February in the red.
What you need to know today
- Stocks in the U.S. rose on Monday, but are still on track to end February lower. European markets closed higher too. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed 1.1% higher, with all sectors in positive territory.
- The U.K. and the EU signed a new trade deal. Known as the Windsor Framework, it remedies problems caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol, which mandates checks on goods that travel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Sterling jumped on the news.
- Goldman Sachs' second-ever investor day will take place on Tuesday. Before that happens, here's a timely recap of how the Wall Street giant failed in its ambitions to capture the consumer banking market.
- Record-breaking inflation means double-digit price increases in most countries. But not in Switzerland, where inflation's at a very enviable 3.5% in 2022. How did the country do it? High base prices that are regulated, currency stability and a resilient energy supply.
- PRO The S&P 500 might fall back to a bear market in March, warned Mike Wilson, Morgan Stanley's chief U.S. equity strategist. "With the equity market showing signs of exhaustion after the last Fed meeting, the S&P 500 is at critical technical support," Wilson wrote.
The bottom line
Markets pulled back from their lows of last week and managed to stage a rebound. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.22%, the S&P increased 0.31% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.63%.
Investors felt they had slightly more breathing room after Treasury yields eased from their peaks on Friday, with the interest-rate-sensitive 2-year yield dipping from a 16-year high. As Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird, wrote, "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."
Additionally, a decline in orders placed with manufacturers may have given investors a sign of slowing inflation — such signs are increasingly rare. Data released Monday showed that sales of durable goods like appliances, TVs and autos dropped 4.5% in January, worse than analysts' expectations of a 3.6% fall. By contrast, orders increased 5.1% in December. Though a plunge in airplane orders contributed to much of the decline, orders were still down 5.1% when excluding defense.
Earnings reports from major retailers like Target, Costco and Macy's will be released this week and give an indication whether consumer spending will remain strong or start faltering. Regardless of what happens, analysts from JPMorgan's Mislav Matejka to Morgan Stanley's Mike Wilson aren't too optimistic. It might be best to brace for a bumpy landing for the time being.
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