Stocks Back off From Records

U.S. stocks held steady near record levels on Monday as muted trading resumed before the first-quarter earnings season and the release of widely-watched inflation data.

The Dow Jones Industrials slumped 87.31 points to 33,713.29.

The broader index dipped 9.4 points, to 4,119.40,

The NASDAQ Composite retreated 84.38 points to 13,815.80.

Reopening plays fell slightly with shares of Carnival and Gap off about 1%. United Airlines fell about 1% after the carrier said its first-quarter revenue is expected to fall 66% compared with the same period in 2019. The new guidance fells near the top of the range between 65% and 70% that the company had previously forecast.

Shares of Nuance Communications jumped 18% after Microsoft announced it will buy the speech recognition company in a $16 billion deal. The Nuance acquisition represents Microsoft’s largest acquisition since it bought LinkedIn for more than $26 billion in 2016.

Tesla gained 1.5% to around $686 after Canaccord Genuity upgraded the stock to buy and raised its price target to $1,071, citing its battery innovations.

The first-quarter earnings reporting season begins this week, with expectations set for broadly positive news and an uptrend for U.S. equities thanks to a recovering economy. Many of the nation’s largest banks, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase will this week report results for the three months ended March 31.

The coming week is also packed with Federal Reserve speeches and key economic data including a hotly anticipated inflation reading Tuesday, when the U.S. consumer price index is released.

The central bank’s chairman, Jerome Powell, kicked off the week of multiple Fed appearances with an interview that aired Sunday evening on CBS News’ "60 Minutes."

During the interview, Powell reiterated that the Fed wants to see inflation rise above its 2% for an extended period before officials move to raise interest rates.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys fell, raising yields to 1.68% from Friday’s 1.64%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices added $1.35 to $60.67 U.S. a barrel.

Gold dropped $8.80 to $1,736.00 U.S. an ounce.

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