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© Angela Weiss/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images


Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. stock benchmarks rose solidly Monday morning, putting the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track for a third straight advance, led by a charge higher in technology stocks to kick off the final week of trade in May.

What are major indexes doing?

  • The Dow rose 130 points, or 0.4%, to 34,340.
  • The S&P 500 advanced 25 points, or 0.6%, to 4,181.
  • The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 98 points, or 0.7%, to trade at 13,568.

The Dow last week fell 0.5%, while the S&P 500 gave up 0.4%, with both indexes suffering their second straight weekly fall. The Nasdaq Composite saw a rise of 0.3%, snapping a run of four consecutive weekly declines.

What’s driving the market?

Rising inflation pressures are getting the blame for heightened stock-market volatility after data earlier this month showed the consumer-price index rose a hotter-than-expected 4.2% year-over-year in April. That prompted fears the Fed could move earlier than anticipated to begin pulling back on its monetary policy accommodation.

Read: Inflation scare? the stocks that perform best — and worst — when prices rise

Most Fed officials have maintained that it remains too early to begin contemplating the withdrawal of monetary support.

Meanwhile, stocks last week largely mirrored the price action of the previous week, slumping early before enjoying a late-week bounce, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.

“Since the market’s low on May 19 did not undercut the low from the prior week, however, it was viewed as a successful retest of that earlier low, indicating that the recent selloff had run its course and that a near-term rally was likely at hand,” Stovall said, in a note.

Talks continue around President Joe Biden’s infrastructure push. The White House on Friday trimmed the size of its proposal from $2.3 trillion to $1.7 trillion in an effort to win Republican support.

The effort failed to bear fruit with Senate Republicans so far, according to news reports, raising doubts about prospects for a deal before a Memorial Day target. Democrats could attempt to move on their own if the stalemate continues, using budget reconciliation procedures.

Volatility in the cryptocurrency markets also remain in focus. Bitcoin extended a slump over the weekend to fall as much as 50% from its all-time high above $60,000 set earlier this week. Bitcoin was up around 10% in recent action.

Read: ‘Where the crypto market goes from here is completely dependent on the stock market,’ says digital-asset tycoon Barry Silbert

Which companies are in focus?

  • Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.  and Cimarex Energy Co.  said Monday that they reached an agreement on an all-stock merger of equals in a deal with an enterprise value of about $17 billion. Cabot shares traded 7% lower, while Cimarex shares were nearly 8% lower.
  • Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. on Saturday completed its first rocket-powered flight from New Mexico to the fringe of space in a manned shuttle. Shares jumped by about 17%.
  • Singular Genomics Systems Inc. the California-based biotech that leverages next-generation sequencing (NGS) to build products for researchers, set terms of its initial public offering, in which it could be valued at up to $1.5 billion. The company is looking to raise up to $187 million, as it is offering 8.5 million shares at an IPO price of between $20 and $22 a share. The stock is expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “OMIC.”
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH said Monday it will resume cruises to Alaska from Seattle starting Aug. 7. Its stock was up less than 1%.
  • Vivint Smart Home IncVVNT said Monday that Chief Executive Todd Pedersen will step down from his role, once a successor has been found. Pedersen, who also founded the company, will remain on the integrated smart home company’s board of directors. Shares were down 3.4%.

How are other assets faring?

  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was at 1.605%, down 2.5 basis points. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions.
  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index  a gauge of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was off 0.1%.
  • Oil futures  rose, withWest Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery up 84 cents, or 1.3%, at $64.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • Gold futures  climbed to trade at $1,882.90, rising 0.3%.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP was trading less than 0.1% lower, while London’s FTSE 100 UKX rose 0.1%.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI fell 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP ended 0.3% higher and Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK rose 0.2%.
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