Dow hits new high amid investor anticipation for inflation and earnings data

Note: Figures recorded at 7:40am AEDT. Updated figures and a video recording will be available at 9am AEDT.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a new high on Monday as investors awaited fresh inflation and earnings data.

The 30-stock index advanced 130 points, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 hovered around the flatline, while the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.2%.Salesforce dragged the Dow down, with the cloud-based software stock sliding 1%.

Shares of Hershey slid less than 1% following a downgrade to underweight from Morgan Stanley on the back of softer demand.

On the other hand, Diamondback Energy rose nearly 10% after announcing that it would acquire oil and gas producer Endeavor Energy Partners. “Magnificent 7” titan Meta Platforms also added more than 1%.

Some 61 names in the S&P 500 are set to report earnings in the week ahead, including gig economy stocks Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash. Companies such as AutoNatio, Kraft Heinz, Hasbro and Coca-Cola will also shed light on the state of the U.S. consumer.

Traders will also watch out for the latest level on the consumer price index — or CPI, a key inflationary gauge — set to be released on Tuesday morning. More key economic data is expected on Thursday and Friday, including January’s reading on retail sales, production, imports and exports, housing starts and the producer price index, or PPI.

Still, the market’s rally over the last three months has been unusually strong and consistent, raising the possibility a pullback could occur soon. The S&P 500 has now gone over 70 trading days without experiencing a 2% decline, according to Bespoke Investment Group.

Bitcoin surpassed the $50,000 mark for the first time in over two years, reaching $50,334.00, its highest level since December 2021, and Ether also rose, hitting $2,638.62. This surge led to gains in crypto equities, with Coinbase rising over 3%, MicroStrategy almost 10%, and various mining stocks seeing double-digit increases such as CleanSpark up 14%, Iris Energy up 15%, and Marathon Digital up 13%.

Biotech companies are rushing to raise money in US equity markets at the fastest rate since the peak of the mid-pandemic market boom.

Drug developers raised $6.2bn in equity capital markets in January, according to data from Jefferies.

That marked the largest total since February 2021, the same month that the most popular tracker of biotech stocks hit its all-time high.

The funding surge marks a sharp turnaround after a two-year deal drought that forced many companies to cut jobs and shelve projects to save costs, and forced some out of business. “There’s been a noticeable, dramatic improvement in sentiment among investors,” said Rahul Chaudhary, head of healthcare equity capital markets at Leerink Partners.
Figures around the globe

European markets closed higher. London’s FTSE added 0.01 per cent, Frankfurt gained 0.65 per cent, and Paris closed 0.55 per cent higher.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.39 per cent lower at 7,614.92.

Qv Equities (ASX:QVE) is paying 1.3 cents fully franked

Dividends payable
Transurban Group (ASX:TCL)

Sources: Bloomberg, FactSet, IRESS, TradingView, UBS, Bourse Data, Trading Economics, CoinMarketCap.

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