Stock Market Today: Global Shares Rise as U.S. Markets Pause for M.L.K. Jr. Day

Text size

Wall Street trading will return in force Tuesday.


Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Global stocks moved higher Monday in what was a quiet trading session, with U.S. markets closed in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

Indexes in Europe and Asia were broadly in the green. The pan-European


Stoxx 600

rose 0.8%, while Tokyo’s


Nikkei 225

ended the day up 0.7%.

The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were closed Monday for the holiday that honors King’s Jan. 15 birthday, with U.S. bond markets also shut.

CME Group
,
which overseas commodities markets including Nymex-traded crude and Comex-traded gold, said there will be no regular trading or settlements Monday.

Worldwide, investors continue to fret over tighter monetary policy and inflation. 

Signals from the Federal Reserve show its monetary policy group—the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)—on track for earlier, faster rate increases and an eventual reduction of its balance sheet. Markets are pricing in three interest rate increases from the central bank this year, with the first in March.

Inflation clouds the picture. Recent readings of historic inflation, including the highest annual increase in the consumer-price index (CPI) since 1982, supports the notion that the Fed will tighten policy. But the data also shows inflation nearing its peak; slowing inflation would act as a moderating force on hawkishness from the Fed.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that 2022 is going to be a year where it’s all about the battle between the Fed and financial conditions,” said Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank. “Markets will get some breathing space today with a U.S. holiday and a Fed that are in their blackout period ahead of next week’s FOMC.”

With the Fed keeping quiet and a lack of blockbuster economic data, corporate earrings are expected to be a major definer of investor sentiment in the week ahead. As Barron’s reported Friday, a disappointing earnings season could be a bigger problem for the global stock market than tighter Fed policy.

“The only drivers for markets this week will be the continuation of Q4 earnings season tomorrow, which got under way in earnest on Friday,” said Michael Hewson, an analyst at broker CMC Markets.

Stocks fell Friday as investors soured amid

Big Bank

earnings from

JPMorgan Chase

(ticker: JPM),

Citigroup

(C), and

Wells Fargo

(WFC). This season will continue in full swing Tuesday with

Goldman Sachs

(GS),

Charles Schwab

(SCHW), and

Truist Financial

(TFC).

In focus Monday was fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures from China, which showed 4% year-over-year growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.

“A combination of port disruptions due to Covid restrictions, supply-chain issues, as well as surging power costs and enforced shutdowns of the Chinese economy, hampered economic activity in the second half of the year,” Hewson noted.

Here are five stocks on the move Monday:

Credit Suisse

‘s (CS) Zurich-listed stock fell 2% after the bank’s chair resigned after breaking Covid-19 quarantine rules; António Horta-Osório leaves the group with immediate effect after just nine months in the role.

The London shares of

GSK

(GSK) and

Unilever

(UL) diverged following news that the pharmaceutical giant received and rejected three unsolicited proposals from Unilever—a consumer goods giant—for its consumer healthcare business. GSK was up 4% while Unilever tumbled 6%.

The Chinese subsidiaries of

Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) and

Wynn Resorts

(WYNN) soared in Hong Kong trading after gambling hub Macau held the status quo on the number of gaming licenses it issues. Shares in Las Vegas Sands and

Wynn Resorts

jumped in U.S. trading Friday on the news of clarity in Macau after months of uncertainty.

Sands China

(1928.H.K.) rose 14.6% Monday and

Wynn Macau

(1128.H.K.) lifted 11.9%.

Write to Jack Denton at jack.denton@dowjones.com