S&P 500 ends choppy session almost flat; investors watch the Fed, earnings

  • Apple and Amazon.com among companies to report earnings this week
  • FOMC to kick off two-day policy meeting starting Tuesday
  • Miner Newmont plummets after raising annual cost forecast
  • Indices: Dow up 0.3%, S&P 500 up 0.1%, Nasdaq down 0.4%

NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 oscillated on Monday and ended virtually unchanged as investors braced for a rate hike expected at a Federal Reserve meeting this week and earnings at several companies large-cap growth.

The Nasdaq finished lower, and the S&P 500 Technology (.SPLRCT) and Consumer Discretionary (.SPLRCD) led declines among the major S&P sectors. The energy sector (.SPNY) rose along with oil prices.

“Right now, we’re just in a holding pattern waiting for all of these developments to materialize,” said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Stamford, Connecticut.

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The Fed is expected to announce a 75 basis point rate hike at the end of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, ending pandemic-era support for the U.S. economy.

Comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell after the announcement will be key as some investors fear aggressive rate hikes could tip the US economy into recession. Read more

This week is expected to be the busiest of the second quarter reporting period, with results from around 170 S&P 500 companies expected. Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL.O) are due to report on Tuesday. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) are scheduled for Thursday.

“This is a crucial earnings season for the market, especially given the Nasdaq’s (recent) attempt to climb higher,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Nasdaq, which led declines among major sectors this year, gained more than 3% last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 90.75 points, or 0.28%, to 31,990.04, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 5.21 points, or 0.13%, to 3,966.84 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) fell 51.45 points, or 0.43%, to 11,782.67.

After the closing bell, shares of Walmart (WMT.N) fell more than 8% after the retailer said it was cutting its full-year profit forecast and blamed inflation on food and fuel. Read more

S&P 500 earnings are expected to have risen 6.1% in the second quarter from the year-ago period, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Along with inflation and rising interest rates, investors are worried about the impact of currency headwinds and ongoing supply chain issues for companies this earnings season.

Tuesday brings reports on two housing indicators – the S&P Case-Shiller 20-city composite (USSHPQ=ECI) and the Commerce Department’s new home sales number.

Recent housing data suggests that the sector could be the harbinger of a cooling economy. Read more

Newmont Corp (NEM.N) fell 13.2% after the miner raised its full-year cost forecast and missed its second-quarter profit, hurt by falling gold prices and inflationary pressures. Read more

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.34 billion shares, compared to an average of 11.0 billion for the full session over the past 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.55 to 1; on the Nasdaq, a ratio of 1.05 to 1 favored the decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 1 new 52-week high and 29 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 50 new highs and 105 new lows.

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Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Anil D’Silva and David Gregorio

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