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Stock market today: Dow hits fresh record as stocks close mixed before key inflation update

US stocks ended mixed on Monday after the S&P 500 index notched a historic close in the prior session, as investors prepared for the first key inflation update of the year and the next wave of earnings reports.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed just below the flat line after a record-setting week that saw the benchmark end above 5,000 for the first time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) gained around 0.3% to hit a fresh record, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) fell 0.3%.

Shares of chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) rose 2% to hit another record on Monday before paring gains. British semiconductor designer Arm (ARM) also surged to a new record, extending its rally from last week.

Stocks have gained as the market embraces a clutch of better-than-expected corporate results, with big tech names driving the lion's share. Eyes are on the next batch of quarterly reports, with John Deere (DE), Coca-Cola (KO), Airbnb (ABNB), and Kraft Heinz (KHC) serving as highlights on the docket in the coming days.

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But the week will bring a new challenge to the rally, with the January reading of the Consumer Price Index due Tuesday. The CPI report will give investors their first insight into how cool inflation is running in 2024 and, alongside an update on consumer spending, will set expectations for the timing and pace of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts this year.

Read more: What the Fed rate decision means for bank accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards

Traders have scaled back bets on a March rate cut as a stream of warnings from cautious Fed officials ring in their ears. Monday brought more Fedspeak, with regional presidents Michelle Bowman, Tom Barkin, and Neel Kashkari appearing.

LIVE COVERAGE IS OVER11 updates
  • Dow hits fresh record ahead of key inflation print

    US stocks closed the session mixed on Monday but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) hit a new record, up 0.3% as investors prepared for the first key inflation update of the year and the next wave of earnings reports.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) ended the session slightly below the flatline after a record-setting week that saw the benchmark end above 5,000 for the first time.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) wavered during the session to close down 0.3%.

    Shares of chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) rose 2% to hit another record on Monday before paring gains. British semiconductor designer Arm (ARM) also surged to a new record, extending its rally from last week.

  • JPMorgan upgrades Lowe's stock on DIY optimism

    Lowe’s (LOW) stock rallied 3% Monday on an upgrade from JPMorgan analysts, who said declining mortgage rates will likely create more demand for home-renovation projects.

    Analyst Christopher Horvers upped his sell-side rating on LOW stock to Overweight from Neutral, while raising its price target to $265 from $210.

    The market is expecting the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year, which would feed into mortgage rates moving lower as well, JPMorgan explained. Lower rates would boost sales in the existing home market.

    "While we continue to think that the rebound will be partly muted by the locked-in mortgage rate dynamic, the sheer potential magnitude of such a recovery suggests a strong acceleration in trends against arguably low consensus expectations," Horvers wrote.

    He added that “this churn could propel DIY as home sellers do small upgrades and new buyers buy a new set of basic items when they move in (e.g., garbage cans, flower pots, shades!)."

    Still, Horvers expects LOW to guide for this year “conservatively."

    "We believe it is widely expected that LOW will guide somewhere in the $12.00-$12.50 [EPS] range for 2024 to clear the decks," he wrote.

    Lowe’s is expected to release fourth quarter earnings at the end of the month.

  • Trending tickers on Monday

    Arm Holdings (ARM)

    The British chipmaker rallied to new record highs on Monday, extending gains from last week following better-than-expected revenue guidance.

    Arm shares gained more than 30% throughout the session. The stock is up 100% since last Wednesday when Arm's quarterly results were released.

    Diamondback Energy (FANG)

    Shares of the oil and gas producer jumped more than 8% on Monday after announcing the acquisition of privately held Endeavor Energy for $26 billion in a cash and stock deal.

    The merger follows a string of recent tie-ups in the US Permian Basin, an area that spans from West Texas to southeastern New Mexico.

    The acquisition will position Diamondback as the third-largest oil player in the region.

    Airbnb (ABNB)

    The stock is up more than 4% on Monday ahead of its quarterly results slated for release on Tuesday.

    "We saw a pickup in travel trends (with healthy ADRs), since Airbnb guided in early November, and AirDNA's estimates suggest some upside in 4Q," wrote BofA analysts in a note on Monday.

    The firm's analysts reiterated their Neutral rating on the stock.

    Year to date, Airbnb shares are up about 15%.

  • Why the White House cares what you paid for Super Bowl snacks

    One thing that is certain ahead of another closely watched inflation reading Tuesday is that political actors will gravitate to any changes in food prices.

    As Yahoo Finance's Ben Werschkul reports, the focus on the grocery store has been especially keen from the White House, with President Joe Biden and his aides discussing everything from the price of chicken wings to the size of a bag of chips in recent days.

    Read more here.

  • GM confirms Equinox EV to start at $34,995, range of 319 miles

    GM’s (GM) Chevrolet finally offered up more details on pricing for its upcoming Equinox electric vehicle. As Pras Subramanian reports, the company will indeed target the lower end of the market, which has had very few offerings.

    Chevrolet has confirmed that dealer ordering is expected to start soon. Chevy says the entry level Equinox EV in 1LT FWD (front wheel drive) trim will start at $34,995, with availability in the fall. Destination fees tack on an additional $1,395, however.

    GM also said it expects the Equinox EV to have an EPA-estimated 319 miles of range (FWD).

    Read more here.

  • Nvidia market cap eclipses Amazon, Alphabet

    Nvidia's (NVDA) market cap has eclipsed valuations for Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOG) as shares of the chipmaker extended to new all-time highs on Monday.

    The stock has gained more than 50% year to date, reaching an intraday record of $746.11 per share.

    Nvidia's market cap touched $1.83 billion dollars on Monday, surpassing Amazon's $1.80 billion. The chipmaker is narrowly bigger than Alphabet's almost $1.82 billion market cap.

    Nvidia surpassed Amazon in market cap on Monday, as the chipmaker's rally extended.
    Nvidia surpassed Amazon in market cap on Monday, as the chipmaker's rally extended.
  • Arm stock surges 30% as it extends rally on AI prospects

    Arm Holdings (ARM) stock surged more than 30% on Monday, extending last week's rally of more than 60% after the British chip designer issued better-than-expected revenue guidance.

    Investors are betting that the company is well positioned to benefit from the AI boom.

    The stock is up 100% since last Wednesday when Arm's quarterly results were released.

    "Arm’s licensing revenue was supported by increasing demand for new technology driven by all things AI," said the company in its latest shareholder letter.

  • Forget Microsoft and Apple, the race for $2 trillion is on for Alphabet, Amazon, and Nvidia

    Microsoft (MSFT) may have claimed the top spot from Apple (AAPL) Friday for the all-time highest market cap ($3,124,869,988,352), but both companies are slightly in the red today.

    Another interesting race is emerging for third place among Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), and Nvidia (NVDA). Despite a more-than-respectable 6% gain so far this month for Alphabet, blistering returns from Amazon (up 12%) and Nvidia (up 17%) suggest one of the latter two may become the third US public company to hit $2 trillion in valuation. (Alphabet rallied just shy of this mark in November 2021.)

    'Mag 7' Market Cap Race Heating Up
    'Mag 7' Market Cap Race Heating Up

    Nvidia now accounts for over one quarter (26%) of the S&P 500's increase in market cap this year, though the stock only accounts for 4% of the benchmark index's weight.

  • Stocks edge higher after S&P 500's record setting week

    Stocks edged higher mid-morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) up 0.3% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) also rose 0.3%.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 0.2% following a record-setting week that saw the benchmark end above 5,000 for the first time ever.

    Chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) rose to another record high on Monday, up 2%. Airbnb (ABNB) stock rose 4% ahead of the house-sharing platform's quarterly results slated for Tuesday.

  • Diamondback stock jumps 8% on merger deal

    Diamondback Energy (FANG) jumped more than 8% on Monday after the oil and gas producer announced it will acquire privately held Endeavor Energy for $26 billion in a cash and stock deal.

    The consolidation move among the two companies headquartered across the street from each other in Midland, Texas follows a string of recent tie-ups in the space.

    The deal is "logical," Ed Hirs, economist and energy fellow at the University of Houston, told Yahoo Finance. "It will certainly give the combined companies some savings."

    The merger announcement says the combined company will scale to 838,000 net acres with a production of 816,000 barrels of oil and gas per day.

    Operations would break even with West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) at under $40 per barrel. WTI is currently trading above $76 per barrel.

  • Stocks steady after S&P 500's record-setting week

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) opened near the flatline on Monday, following a record-setting week that saw the benchmark end above 5,000 for the first time ever.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell 0.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) broadly traded steady.

    Energy, Real Estate, and Materials were among the sectors eking out gains on Monday. Technology and Healthcare stocks dipped slightly.