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Stock market today: Asian markets mixed, with most closed for holidays, after S&P 500 tops 5,000

AP Business Writer

BANGKOK (AP) — Asian shares were mixed on Monday, with most regional markets closed for holidays, while U.S. futures edged lower after the S&P 500 ended last week above 5,000.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3% to 7,621.10 and the Sensex in India edged 0.1% higher, to 71,647.74. Thailand’s SET was up 0.1% and in Jakarta, the benchmark gained 0.6% ahead of an election to be held on Wednesday.

With mainland Chinese markets closed for the week for the Lunar New Year, there was a dearth of market moving news. Tokyo’s markets also were shut Monday, for a one-day holiday.

This week will bring an important update from the United States on consumer inflation expectations. Japan is due Thursday to announce its GDP growth for the last quarter of 2023.

The U.S. price data may not have a major impact on monetary policy, “However, the good news is that U.S. inflation probably decreased at the beginning of the year, reinforcing expectations that the Federal Reserve may consider interest rate cuts in the coming months,” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.

On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 0.6%, finishing above 5,000 for the first time, at 5,026.61. It was the 10th record in less than a month for the index, which closed its 14th winning week in the last 15 to continue a romp that began around Halloween.

The Nasdaq composite jumped 1.2% to pull within 0.4% of its own all-time high, which was set in 2021. It closed at 15,990.66.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was a laggard, slipping 0.1% to 38,749 a day after it set a record.

Wall Street’s rally has been fueled by hopes that cooling inflation will lead the Federal Reserve to dial down the pressure by cutting interest rates.

Big Tech stocks did most of the market’s heavy lifting on Friday, as they’ve been doing for more than a year, in part on mania around artificial-intelligence technology. Nvidia, Microsoft and Amazon were the three strongest forces lifting the S&P 500 after each rose by at least 1.6%.

Cloudflare was the latest company to soar after reporting stronger profit than analysts expected for its latest quarter. The cloud-services company jumped 19.5% after it said it signed both its largest new customer and its largest renewal ever, despite an overall economic environment that “remains challenging to predict.”

Profits have mostly been better than expected for the big companies in the S&P 500 this reporting season, which is roughly two-thirds finished. That has burnished optimism on Wall Street, but contrarians say it may have gone too far and carried stocks to too-expensive heights.

Traders are flowing into some riskier investments at a quick enough pace that a contrarian measure kept by Bank of America is leaning more toward “sell” now than “buy,” though it’s not at convincing levels. The measure tracks how much fear and greed are in the market, and it suggested buying in October when fear was at a convincing high.

In other trading Monday, U.S. benchmark crude oil lost 38 cents to $76.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 62 cents on Friday.

Brent crude, the international standard, lost 37 cents to $81.82 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar fell to 149.24 Japanese yen from 149.28 yen. The euro rose to $1.0792 from $1.0784.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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