Stocks nudge higher to start busy week of earnings, inflation data

U.S. stocks rose early Monday as Wall Street steered into third-quarter earnings season and braced for a batch of inflation reports.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) climbed 0.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) bounced 140 points, or 0.5%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) inched up 0.1%.

Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans gave sentiment a boost early Monday with upbeat remarks at a National Association for Business Economics conference.

“I think we can bring inflation down relatively quickly while also avoiding a recession,” Evans said.

Still, the CBOE Volatility Index (^VIX), which measures short-term expectations for market turbulence, inched closer to the 33 level. And treasury yields extended their recent climb higher. Oil retreated after surging 17% last week, the largest jump since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The moves come after an erratic week that began with a fierce rally and concluded with a sharp sell-off that erased much of the resulting gains. The latest downslide was spurred by a strong September jobs report that confirmed to investors Federal Reserve officials are unlikely to shift away from restrictive monetary policy any time soon.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is down 23.6% year-to-date as of Friday’s close, but nine single trading days comprise that entire decline of 32 total points, according to Nicholas Colas of DataTrek Research.

The greater share of down days occurred around Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Federal Reserve-related…

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