Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 surged 1.0% to 32,776.37. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2% to 7,206.90. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.8% to 2,536.80. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.2% to 18,056.17, while the Shanghai Composite fell nearly 0.2% to 3,137.73.
The Federal Reserve is weighing whether to keep raising interest rates steady in its effort to get inflation back to 2%. On Wednesday, the U.S. government will offer the latest monthly update on prices consumers are paying across the economy, and the forecast is they were 3.6% higher in August than a year earlier.
“Upcoming U.S. data will be crucial leading up to the Federal Reserve’s decision next week,” Anderson Alves of ActivTrades said in a commentary.
The Fed has already hiked its main interest rate to the highest level in more than two decades, and it has said it will make upcoming moves based on how inflation and other parts of the economy perform. Inflation has come down from last year’s peak above 9%, but economists warn the last bit of improvement to get to the Fed’s target could be the most difficult to achieve.
A separate report on Thursday will also show how much U.S. households spent at retailers last month. Strong spending there has helped the economy avoid a long-predicted recession. But it also could encourage companies to keep trying to raise prices, pushing upward on inflation.
Most traders expect the Federal Reserve to leave rates where they are at its meeting next week, according to data from CME Group. But many are bracing for another possible hike by the end of this year, while paring expectations for cuts to rates next year.
Monday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.7% to 4,487.46, coming off its first losing week in the last three. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% to 34,663.72 and the Nasdaq composite climbed 1.1% to 13,917.89.
Some big technology-oriented stocks led the way. Tesla jumped 10.1%, Amazon climbed 3.5% and Meta Platforms rose 3.2%. Charter Communications rose 3.2% after it announced a deal with The Walt Disney Co. to restore access to ESPN and other channels to its Spectrum video customers. Disney rose 1.2%.
Apple rose 0.7% ahead of a Tuesday event where it’s expected to release its latest iPhone model. How Apple performs has great consequence for the market because it’s the most valuable stock on Wall Street. That means its movements pack more weight on the S&P 500 and other indexes than any other stock.
Qualcomm rose 3.9% after it announced a deal to supply 5G equipment for Apple in its phone launches in 2024 through 2026.
Aerospace company RTX slumped 7.9% after it said a previously announced issue with its Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines could mean a hit of $3 billion to $3.5 billion over the next several years to its operating profit before taxes. It said it will remove up to 700 engines for shop visits in the next few years.
Hostess Brands jumped 19.1% after J.M. Smucker said it will buy the maker of Twinkies and HoHos in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $5.6 billion, including $900 million of net debt. J.M. Smucker, whose brands run from Folgers to Smucker’s, slumped 7%.
Shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba that trade in the United States fell 1.5% after it said its former CEO, Daniel Zhang, would step down as head of its cloud-computing unit.
The company has been restructuring after setbacks from regulatory crackdowns on the technology and financial sectors.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude gained 32 cents to $87.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 24 cents to $90.88 a barrel.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar edged up to 146.93 Japanese yen from 146.55 yen. The euro cost $1.0737, down from $1.0756.