Stock market today: Asian markets mixed, with most closed for holidays, after S&P 500 tops 5,000

BANGKOK– Asian stocks were mixed on Monday, with most regional markets closed for holidays, while US futures followed the S&The P500 ended above 5,000 last week.

The Australian S&The P/ASX 200 fell 0.3% to 7,621.10 and India’s Sensex rose 0.1% to 71,647.74. Thailand’s SET rose 0.1% and in Jakarta the benchmark rose 0.6% ahead of Wednesday’s elections.

With mainland Chinese markets closed this week for the Lunar New Year, there was a lack of market-moving news. Tokyo’s markets were also closed on Monday for a one-day holiday.

This week there will be an important update from the United States on consumer inflation expectations. Japan will announce its GDP growth for the final quarter of 2023 on Thursday.

US price data may not have a major impact on monetary policy. “The good news, however, is that US inflation is likely to have eased at the start of the year, reinforcing expectations that the Federal Reserve will consider rate cuts in the coming months.” Stephen Innes of SPI Asset Management said in a commentary.

On Friday the S&The P500 rose 0.6% to end above 5,000 for the first time at 5,026.61. It was the tenth record in less than a month for the index, which completed its fourteenth winning week in the last fifteen, continuing the romp that started around Halloween.

The Nasdaq composite rose 1.2%, coming within 0.4% of its own all-time high, set in 2021. The index closed at 15,990.66.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lagged behind, falling 0.1% to 38,749 a day after setting a record.

The rally on Wall Street is fueled by hopes that cooling inflation will prompt the Federal Reserve to ease pressure by cutting rates.

Big Tech stocks did most of the market’s heavy lifting on Friday, as they have for more than a year, partly because of the mania around artificial intelligence technology. Nvidia, Microsoft and Amazon were the three strongest forces driving the S&P500 rose at least 1.6% after each.

Cloudflare was the latest company to soar after reporting stronger earnings than analysts expected for the latest quarter. The cloud services company rose 19.5% after it said it signed both its largest new customer and largest renewal ever, despite an overall economic environment that “remains difficult to predict.”

The profits of the major companies in the S are largely better than expected&P500 this reporting season, which is roughly two-thirds completed. That has fueled optimism on Wall Street, but opponents say it may have gone too far and sent stocks to overpriced heights.

Traders are flocking to some riskier investments at a pace so rapid that a contrarian gauge from Bank of America is leaning more towards ‘sell’ now than ‘buy’, although this is not at a compelling level. The metric tracks how much fear and greed is in the market, and suggested buying would take place in October, when fear had reached a compelling peak.

In other trading Monday, U.S. benchmark crude lost 38 cents to $76.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday the price rose by 62 cents.

Brent crude, the international standard, lost 37 cents to $81.82 a barrel.

The US dollar fell from 149.28 yen to 149.24 Japanese yen. The euro rose from $1.0784 to $1.0792.