NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher, but were unsettled in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday as campaigning winds down for midterm elections in the U.S. that will determine which party controls Congress.
The S&P 500 rose 0.3% as of 1:27 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 286 points, or 0.9%, to 32,690 and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%.
Apple fell 1% after the company warned customers they’ll have to wait longer to get the latest iPhones after anti-virus restrictions were imposed on a contractor’s factory in China. Facebook's parent company rose 5% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company plans to make a big round of layoffs this week.
Cruise lines and other travel-related companies fell. Norwegian Cruise Line, which reports financial results Tuesday, slipped 2.9%.
Bond yields rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 4.19% from 4.16% late Friday. The yield on the two-year Treasury rose to 4.72% from 4.66%.
Tuesday’s election will decide control of Congress and key governorships. History suggests the party in power may suffer losses in the midterms, and decades-high inflation has become a significant issue for the Democrats.
Stubbornly hot inflation and the Federal Reserve's policy of raising interest rates to fight it remains the big concerns for Wall Street. Investors will get an important update on inflation Thursday when the U.S. government releases its report on consumer prices for October.
The update on prices will show where consumers are getting squeezed by inflation. More importantly, it could give investors more insight into the Fed's path ahead for fighting inflation, said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.
"It boils down to one question," he said. "What impact has the tightening from the Fed had on inflation?”
The central bank has signaled that it might slow the pace of its rate increases as it determines the impact from its policy so far. The Fed has also said that it might have to ultimately raise rates higher than previously anticipated if inflation persists. The policy has raised concerns that the Fed could go too far in slowing the economy and bring on a recession.
“The lags are different each cycle and for different reasons and we just don't know when the tightening will have the impact that was intended,” Buchanan said.
The latest round of corporate earnings have provided mixed financial results and warnings from companies about inflation's impact on operations and demand for goods and services. More than 85% of companies in the S&P 500 have reported their latest earnings and overall growth is expected to top out at about 2.7%, according to FactSet.
Cautious and weak forecasts have had their impact on Wall Street's expectations for the rest of the year. Analysts have sharply cut their earnings growth expectations for the current quarter and now forecast a contraction of about 1.4%. They had forecast growth of more than 8% back in June.
Several big companies will report results this week, including Walt Disney on Tuesday.
Markets gained ground in Asia amid continued speculation of a possible relaxation of China’s zero-COVID strategy, though there has been no official confirmation in China of a major change.
European markets were mostly higher.
Yuri Kageyama and Matt Ott contributed to this report.