Wall Street Extends May Gains as Stocks Open Higher

The stock market started the week on a positive note, building on the momentum of a solid May following a turbulent April. Early trading on Monday saw the S&P 500 up by 0.2%, inching closer to its previous record set at the end of March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged by 96 points, while the Nasdaq composite climbed by 0.4%. This month’s rally is fueled by renewed optimism that inflation may ease, potentially leading to a Federal Reserve interest rate cut later in the year. A significant event to watch this week is the government’s release of the latest monthly update on inflation, scheduled for Wednesday.
European markets remained largely unchanged, with Britain’s FTSE 100 rising by 0.1%, Germany’s DAX edging down slightly, and the CAC 40 in Paris experiencing a minor decline.
In Asia, weak Chinese lending data and news of planned U.S. tariffs on Chinese exports influenced market sentiment. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped by 0.1%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose by 0.8%, driven by technology sector gains. The Shanghai Composite index dipped by 0.2% following China’s inflation data release, indicating a continued rise in consumer prices but a decline in producer prices.
The Biden administration is expected to announce increased tariffs on electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar equipment, and medical supplies imported from China, which may reach as high as 100%. This announcement, scheduled for Tuesday, prompted selling of certain automaker stocks.
Taiwan’s Taiex surged by 0.7% after leading computer maker TSMC reported a significant increase in April revenue. Meanwhile, India’s Sensex fell by 0.6%.
On Friday, the S&P 500 rose by 0.2%, marking its third consecutive winning week after a challenging April. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3%, while the Nasdaq composite experienced a slight decline.
The University of Michigan’s preliminary report on U.S. consumer sentiment suggested a significant weakening, contributing to rising concerns among investors. Additionally, consumer expectations of inflation for the upcoming year increased to 3.5%, raising fears of a potential inflationary spiral.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose to $78.59 a barrel, while Brent crude climbed to $83.06 a barrel. The U.S. dollar saw a slight increase against the Japanese yen and the euro.
Overall, market participants remain attentive to key economic indicators and geopolitical developments influencing direction amidst ongoing volatility.