S&P 500 subdued as focus turns to Fed

(Reuters) – The S&P 500 paused on Monday below an all-time high as investors awaited cues from the Federal Reserve’s meeting this week amid caution over rising borrowing costs spurred by massive fiscal stimulus.

FILE PHOTO: A Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways said leisure bookings are rising and offered some of the first concrete signs that the worst may be over for the airline industry.

The S&P 1500 airlines index jumped about 3.8% to a one-year high, while planemaker Boeing Co added about 2%.

Other travel-related stocks including Carnival Corp, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts gained between 3% and 5%.

Wall Street’s main indexes on Friday logged their best week in six as approval of a $1.9 trillion relief package and mass vaccinations fueled demand for economy-linked stocks such as banks, energy, materials at the cost of high-growth tech names.

The major U.S. stock indexes were roiled in recent weeks as a spike in longer-dated U.S. bond yields due to fears of an increase in inflation and, in response, a tapering of the Fed’s easy monetary policy worried investors.

“The U.S. economy looks in a better shape than most other developed economies,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

“Despite the rosier economic outlook, this week’s Fed meeting is expected to be absent of major policy changes.”

At the end of Fed’s two-day meeting on Wednesday, policymakers are expected to forecast that the U.S. economy will grow in 2021 at the fastest rate in decades while reiterating their dovish stance for the foreseeable future.

The yields on benchmark 10-year Treasuries hovered near their 13-month high at 1.61%, slightly lower than its peak of 1.64% hit on Friday.

At 9:47 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 87.51 points, or 0.27%, to 32,866.15, the S&P 500 gained 0.29 points, or 0.01%, to 3,943.63 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 6.81 points, or 0.05%, to 13,313.11.

Five of the major S&P sectors were lower, with financials and energy leading losses.

Tesla Inc added “Technoking of Tesla” to billionaire Chief Executive Elon Musk’s list of official titles in a formal regulatory filing that also named finance chief Zachary Kirkhorn “Master of Coin”. Tesla’s shares were nearly flat.

Eli Lilly and Co shares slumped about 8.5% after “mixed” results from the drugmaker’s mid-stage trial testing its experimental drug to treat Alzheimer’s cast a doubt on the chances for the drug’s accelerated approval, according to analysts.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.2-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 59 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 239 new highs and six new lows.

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