Wall Street’s Post-Weekend Trading Remains Steady

US labor market

U.S. stock indexes stayed near their record highs when reopened after a long Memorial Day weekend. Early Tuesday, the S&P 500 climbed up 0.1%, just below its record it set last week. At the same time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved down 111 points, and the Nasdaq composite rose by 0.4% after it reached a new all-time high. U.S. Cellular shares went up after the announcement that T-Mobile US would buy most of the company in a $4.4 billion deal, which includes debt. Treasury yields were steady after falling through much of May, and the stock markets saw small declines across Asia and Europe.

Earlier Happenings

In early trading on Tuesday, Wall Street showed mixed results after the long weekend. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.1%, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.1%.

U.S. Cellular saw a 5.6% jump after revealing that T-Mobile would buy its wireless operations and certain assets in a $4.4 billion deal. This acquisition includes about 30% of U.S. Cellular’s spectrum assets across several bands.

GameStop, a notable meme stock, went up over 25% in premarket trading. The video game retailer announced on Friday that it had sold all 45 million shares in its latest offering, raising over $933 million.

Focus Shifts to Economic Indicators

As the earnings season is mostly over, investors are turning their attention to the economy, inflation, and interest rates. Later on Tuesday, the Conference Board will share its consumer confidence index for May. Even though spending remains strong and supporting the U.S. economy, consumer confidence has been down in recent months because of ongoing inflation and high interest rates.

Later this week, the government will release its consumer spending report, which will provide more insights into Americans’ spending habits. This report includes an inflation measure closely watched by the Federal Reserve, which has raised its benchmark rate to the highest level in over 2 decades to control inflation. Although inflation has come down from its peak above 9%, year-over-year price increases are still above the Fed’s 2% target.

The ongoing inflation makes it harder for the Fed to lower interest rates, which usually helps the stock market. Even though interest rates are higher to cool down the economy, the markets have recently reached record highs.

Global Market Movements

In Europe, midday trading saw Germany’s DAX stay flat, while the CAC 40 in Paris fell by 0.6%. In the UK, the FTSE 100 dropped 0.3% after reopening from a bank holiday on Monday.

Asian markets had mixed results. Chinese markets rose at first but then fell after a meeting of senior Communist Party leaders who emphasized the need to control financial risks. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.5%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost less than 1 point. The Chinese government recently eased interest rates and lowered down payment requirements for housing loans to revive the property sector, which has been weighed down by a crackdown on excessive borrowing.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.1%, and South Korea’s Kospi was almost unchanged. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.3%.

Oil and Currency Trading

In other trading on Tuesday, U.S. benchmark crude oil rose by $1.05 to $78.77 per barrel. Brent crude, which is the international standard, was almost unchanged at $82.92 per barrel. Geopolitical tensions and increased U.S. demand into the summer, along with OPEC’s restrictive outlook, are supporting further gains in oil prices, according to Swissquote’s Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar slipped to 156.78 Japanese yen from 156.89 yen, while the euro went up to $1.0885 from $1.0860.

On Friday, the S&P 500 went up 0.7%, the Dow industrials rose slightly, and the Nasdaq composite gained 1.1%, surpassing its previous all-time high set earlier in the week.