The S&P 500 ended just below the flatline Monday, as investors awaited further catalysts after the broader market snapped its five-week win streak last week amid inflation concerns.
The S&P 500 closed unchanged, at 0.0%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.04%, or 13 points, the Nasdaq fell 0.04%.
In a sign that investor sentiment remains skittish, utilities and consumer staples - defensive sectors of the market – led gains to the upside.
Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) was the biggest advancer in consumer staples after reporting fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat on both the top and bottom lines.
Energy was higher, shrugging off lower oil prices even as the debate intensified as to whether the U.S. will release oil from its strategic petroleum reserves to help curb gas prices.
“Selling pressure is still being generated by the debate about the release of strategic oil reserves in the US,” Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) said in a note.
Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI), Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) were leading to the upside in energy sector, with the latter boosted by a by a UBS upgrade to buy rating from neutral amid expectations for higher oil prices.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) jumped more than 5% on optimism that the aircraft making could soon resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner, following production issues.
Also helping the stock, China is reportedly close to approving Boeing’s changes to its 737 MAX plane.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) fell more than 1%, dragging consumer discretionary stocks lower after chief executive Elon Musk was involved in a twitter spat with Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders.
In response to Sanders’ tweet that the “extremely wealthy pay their fair share,” Musk said, “Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the word.”
Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR), however, kept losses in check for the sector, rising more than 14% after the Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to buy and raised its price target to $148 from $96 a share following news that Dollar tree activist investor had taken a more than 5% stake in the retailer.
“We are upgrading DLTR to Buy from Hold as we now see improved risk/reward through potential operational and profitability improvements at Family Dollar given a greater sense of urgency with Mantle Ridge's influence,” Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) said in a note.
The consumer discretionary sector will remain in focus this week as several retailers including Walmart (NYSE:WMT), HD, Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW), and Target (NYSE:TGT) are among the notable names set to report quarterly earnings.
Oatly (NASDAQ:OTLY) slumped more than 20% after the oat milk maker warned that slower production in the U.S., inflationary pressures and fresh pandemic-linked restrictions in Asia would dent full-year revenue.
WeWork (NYSE:WE) narrowed its losses in the third quarter of the year even as revenue fell. Its shares gained more than 3%.
In Washington, House Democrats are expected to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion social and climate spending package, or Build Back Better Act, later this week.