U.S. stock indexes churned in volatile trading Tuesday following two straight losing days.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average average added about 50 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 gained 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite ticked up 0.2%.
All three major indexes are coming off two consecutive negative sessions as inflation and economic growth concerns loom.
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global growth forecast, citing supply chain challenges and persistent Covid spread.
“We’re seeing major supply disruptions around the world that are also feeding inflationary pressures, which are quite high and financial risk taking also is increasing, which poses an additional risk to the outlook,” IMF economist Gita Gopinath said in a press release.
The IMF said central banks like the Federal Reserve should be prepared to tighten monetary policy if inflation runs too hot.
Investors will monitor the latest employment data on Tuesday as the Labor Department releases its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect 10.9 million job openings in August, unchanged from the total in July. Stocks fell on Friday after a disappointing jobs report.
JPMorgan Chase and other big banks are set to kick off the third-quarter earnings season later this week.
“There are a lot of headwinds out there as we embark on corporate earnings, and traders will be looking for any and all indications of guidance — especially as the threat of slower growth looms large,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading at E-Trade Financial.
Earnings growth is expected to grow about 30% year over year this quarter following a 96.3% expansion in the second quarter, according to Refinitiv.
“Expectations for third quarter earnings have been coming down in recent weeks and that should create some room for upside surprises, which is good for overall market sentiment,” said Rod von Lipsey, managing director at UBS Private Wealth Management.
The stock market went through a bumpy ride in September, with the S&P 500 falling 4.8% for its worst month since March 2020 and breaking a seven-month winning streak. The benchmark has recovered somewhat in October, up about 1.3% for the month.
But the rebound has stalled out a bit in recent days. Wall Street major strategists are seeing muted returns for the rest of 2021 as the average year-end S&P 500 target stands at 4,433, less than 2% from Monday’s close, according to the CNBC Market Strategist Survey.