Stocks fell Monday as investors prepared for first-quarter earnings season following a third straight week of gains for Wall Street and record highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500.
The Dow declined 100 points, or 0.3%, to 33,700, the S&P 500 fell 0.15% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 0.46%. The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs on Friday.
Microsoft rose 0.14% Monday after the software giant agreed to buy speech-recognition company Nuance Communications for $56 a share. The deal values Nuance at about $19.7 billion, including roughly $1 billion in Nuance debt.
Nuance shares surged 16.24% to $52.98.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged higher Monday to 1.682% after the U.S. Treasury sold three- and 10-year notes at slightly lower demand than previous sales.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,”said any increases in U.S. inflation would be temporary.
He said the central bank would consider raising interest rates when the nation was back to maximum employment and inflation was back to 2%.
“It’ll be a while until we get to that place. But that’s the guidance that we’ve offered to the public of the conditions we’d want to see before we start raising interest rates.”
Video: Meyer: The consumer is the key reason why we’re really bullish on the economy (CNBC)
Powell said Sunday the U.S. economy was at a turning point, as vaccines roll out, the government provides further fiscal stimulus and more Americans land jobs. But the nation isn’t yet out of the woods.
“I would say this. What we’re seeing now is really an economy that seems to be at an inflection point,” the Fed chairman said.
Tom Mantione, managing director at UBS Private Wealth Management, said the main risk for stocks was “any sign of the Federal Reserve altering its message of accommodative monetary policy, which has been such an excellent tailwind for global markets.
“If the Fed were to signal a desire to raise interest rates earlier, that could spark a moment of weakness for markets,” Mantione said.
JPMorgan Chase will kick off the first-quarter earnings season Wednesday, followed by reports this week from Wall Street rivals Citigroup , Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley , Wells Fargo and Bank of America .
Meanwhile, officials from such companies as Alphabet , Intel and General Motors will meet with the White House Monday to discuss the impact a global semiconductor shortage is having on U.S. manufacturers.
This article was originally published by TheStreet.