Stocks wobbled in the morning but stabilized in afternoon trading on Monday. The Dow rose 98 points to a record 33,171, while the S&P 500 fell 3 points to 3,971, and the Nasdaq fell 79 points to 13,059. Financial stocks suffered some of the sharpest losses amid worries about how much pain big banks will feel following soured trades made by a major US hedge fund, per the AP. Stocks of energy producers were also weak after the price of crude oil edged lower. Technology stocks fell broadly as China announced more tax breaks to bolster its own chip sector, though gains for Facebook and other market heavyweights helped to limit the S&P 500’s losses.
Meanwhile, a widely followed measure of nervousness in the stock market climbed 10%, but the VIX index, which shows how much volatility traders are bracing for from the S&P 500, remains close to its lowest level since the pandemic rocked markets a year ago. “It's high, which indicates people are nervous, but it's not panicky,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments. Several key reports on the economy are scheduled for this week, which could help show whether stocks deserve the lofty prices they’ve reached. Among the headliners is Friday’s jobs report, where economists expect to see a big acceleration in hiring.
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