Stimulus jitters dent Wall Street’s earlier gains

The Nasdaq rose to another record high Monday along with the S&P 500. Optimistic investors scooped up stay-at-home tech stocks like Microsoft, Facebook and Apple ahead of their earnings reports this week. But the Dow pulled back slightly Monday on concerns over the timing and size of fiscal stimulus.

The Nasdaq ended up seven-tenth percent but well off its highs for the day. The S&P 500 gained four-tenth percent. But the Dow receded a tenth percent.

Kramer Capital Research chief investment officer Hilary Kramer says investors this week may take their cues from Apple, which rose nearly 3% Monday ahead of their earnings report on Wednesday.

“Apple just hit another 52-week high on expectations of you know, kind of new gadgets coming out in 2022, but that’s going to also lead the market or bring the market down depending on what they were.”

She senses some froth in the market, pointing to GameStop, whose shares doubled intraday before investors settled for a rise of 18%. Traders noted that short-sellers could be quickly buying back into the stock to cover potential losses as retail investors pile into benefit from the surge.

Shares of Merck inched up two-tenth percent after the drug maker said it’s scrapping development of two COVID-19 vaccines.

Microsoft gained one-and-half percent. Wedbush Securities raised its price target on the software maker’s stock, citing the potential for further growth in its cloud business this year.