Stocks concluded Monday’s trading session in negative territory, despite the major indexes maintaining a positive trajectory, poised to record their best month in over a year. Wall Street’s optimism persisted, keeping hopes of a sustained rally alive.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) experienced a slight dip of approximately 0.2%, translating to a decline of over 50 points. Similarly, the benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) also registered a 0.2% loss. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC), dominated by tech stocks, initially traded positively but slid in late trading, ultimately closing down by about 0.1%.
This downturn followed four consecutive weekly wins for the market averages by the end of Friday’s trading session.
The November surge in stocks has been fueled by a high level of optimism regarding the potential conclusion of U.S. interest rate hikes. This has positioned the Dow for its most robust month since October of the previous year, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 achieving their strongest performance since July 2022.
Despite the upbeat atmosphere, Monday’s trading session was more subdued as Wall Street resumed activity following the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The VIX, often referred to as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” had reached its lowest level since January 2020 at the close of Friday’s session, indicating sustained positive sentiment.
However, the rally could face a challenge with the release of a new reading on PCE inflation scheduled for Thursday. This metric is the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge for assessing consumer price pressures.
In the interim, investors are closely monitoring updates from Cyber Monday to gain insights into whether Americans will continue to make holiday purchases amid tightening purse strings. Black Friday online sales showed a significant 7.5% year-over-year increase, reaching a record $9.8 billion, while in-store totals also experienced a notable uptick.