Stocks Drift Higher Ahead of Spending Report

But investors are still worried about banking system, possible US debt default
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 15, 2023 3:49 PM CDT
Stocks Edge Higher Ahead of Key Spending Report
The New York Stock Exchange is seen in New York, Wednesday, May 3, 2023.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Wall Street ticked higher Monday ahead of reports that will show how much a slowing economy is hurting what’s prevented a recession so far: solid spending by US households. The S&P 500 rose 12.20, or 0.3%, to 4,136.28, the latest tick higher in what's been a listless weekslong run for the market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 47.98, or 0.1%, to 33,348.60, and the Nasdaq composite climbed 80.47, or 0.7%, to 12,365.21.

Some of the sharper moves came from companies announcing takeovers of rivals, including a 9.1% drop for energy company Oneok after it said it’s buying Magellan Midstream Partners. Magellan jumped 13%. But the larger market was relatively quiet as several concerns continue to drag on Wall Street, the AP reports. Chief among them is the fear of a recession hitting later this year, in large part because of high interest rates meant to knock down inflation. But concerns are also rising about cracks in the US banking system and the US government’s inching toward a possible default on its debt as soon as June 1, which economists warn could be catastrophic.

So far, a resilient job market has helped US households keep up their spending despite all the pressures. That in turn has offered a powerful pillar to prop up the economy. On Tuesday, the government will show how much sales at retailers across the country grew last month. Several big retailers will also show how much profit they made individually during the first three months of the year, including Home Depot on Tuesday, Target on Wednesday, and Walmart on Thursday. They’re among the few companies left who have yet to report their results for the start of the year.

(More stock market stories.)

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