U.S. stocks opened little changed on Monday, although major indexes traded with a slight upward bias that led the Dow eke out an intraday record and put it on track for its ninth straight record close.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.04% rose 15 points, or 0.1%, at 22,109, with a Friday close at its high of the session putting the blue-chip gauge in position to easily touch fresh intraday highs. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.01% rose about a point, or less than 0.1%, at 2,478. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.30% climbed 13 points, or 0.2, to 6,364.
While equities have been in an essentially uninterrupted uptrend all year—the S&P has advanced nearly 11% so far in 2017—analysts said there was little to keep pushing shares solidly higher, even barring prominent headwinds that could nudge benchmarks into the red.
“We have a low-inflation environment, low interest rates, and corporate earnings have come in incredibly well. Those can all hold the market at these levels, but at the same time, you don’t have all sectors firing at once, and the calls for a correction could become a self-fulfilling prophesy,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.
“I’m cautious about what I’m doing. I don’t need to chase the market, and nothing is exciting me enough to rush out and spend the cash I have on hand,” he said. “Why pay full price for a suit if I strongly suspect that it will go on sale in the next month or two?”
The strong set of forecast-beating jobs-growth numbers for July, which drove that Dow record last week, could inspire similar action for Monday, judging by futures, said market participants.
“I’d say the runoff from last Friday’s jobs report is helping the Dow, because that data [were] solid,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at SpreadEx, in emailed comments.
On Friday, the Dow closed at its eighth-straight record, bringing its year-to-date tally to 34 record finishes. If the blue-chip average ends in positive territory on Monday, that will mark its 10th straight record. It is also is on pace for its 10th consecutive close in positive territory, which would represent its longest such streak since late February. However, the streak comes as August trading gets under way and with September looming—historically two of the worst months for investors.
Fed speakers in the spotlight: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will give a speech on monetary and economic policy at a conference in Nashville at 11:45 a.m. Eastern Time. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will hold a question-and-answer session in Bloomington, Minn., at 1:25 p.m. Eastern.
It will be a light week for economic data releases, with consumer prices on Friday, representing the most significant a key update. On Monday, investors will get consumer-credit data for June at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
Stocks to watch: Shares of NxStage Medical Inc. NXTM, +28.37% soared 28% after Germany’s Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA FRE, -1.83% said it would acquire the medical-device firm for around $2 billion to boost its kidney dialysis business.
Tesla Inc. TSLA, -0.23% said it would sell senior unsecured debt obligations set to mature in 2025. Shares dipped 1%.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a meeting in Manila, Philippines on Monday that North Korea will have to stop launching missiles if it wants to hold talks with the U.S. At the weekend, China agreed to tough new U.N. sanctionsagainst North Korea.
Other markets: European stocks SXXP, -0.17% were mostly trading flat after a downbeat reading on German industrial output. Asian stocks ADOW, +0.46% swung higher to start the week, inspired by last week’s U.S. jobs data.
Oil prices CLU7, -1.77% fell 1.3% as investors waited for news from a two-day meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Abu Dhabi that starts Monday.