Top stocks today - U.S. stock indexes edged higher on Monday, nearing record highs after a recent surge, as investors awaited key inflation figures this week to assess the likelihood of interest rate cuts in 2024.

Top stocks today: Market trends you should know!

US stock indexes crept higher on Monday ahead of all-time highs set in March as investors waited for this week’s crucial inflation data to gauge prospects for interest rate cuts in 2024.

The indexes are once again flirting with records that were last hit in March, bolstered by better-than-expected corporate earnings and cooling in the jobs market that have contributed to rising expectations for one or two rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve this year.

Top stocks today: What you should be trading!

One of the most important trends is this: being able to find today’s top stocks.

Gains on Monday cap a multi-week winning streak for the big benchmarks, spotlighting today’s best stocks.

The hotly anticipated inflation report is due for Wednesday, forecast to show core consumer prices increased 0.3% month-over-month in April with an annual rise of 3.6%, according to the latest forecast from Reuters.

On Monday, Fed vice chair Phillip Jefferson reiterated his belief that longer-term interest rates should be maintained at these levels until we see ‘clearly’ price pressures moderating.

Traders are betting that the Fed will be cutting rates by the end of 2024, by 43 bps, according to the rate probabilities app from LSEG (with a 65% chance of at least a 25 bps cut by September).

These projections are the key to finding the best stocks right now.

Top stocks today: Home Depot, Walmart, Cisco

In hopes of getting a better fix on the path of Fed rate action, investors are being guided this week toward a bevy of other economic readings including monthly producer prices, monthly retail sales readings, and weekly jobless claims, as well as a slew of corporate earnings.

A number of companies will report results and shares could making the cut for top stocks today including Home Depot, Walmart, Cisco.

Of the 459 S P 500 companies that have reported so far through Friday, 77.3% have topped earnings-per-share estimates, LSEG data show.

This performance level suggests even more of the beats that are prime candidates for today’s top stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen 47.17 points, or 0.12%, to 39,560.01 at 11:24 a.m.

The S P 500 had risen 2.90 points, or 0.06%, to 5,225.58. The Nasdaq Composite had added 42.66 points, or 0.26%, to 16,383.53.

The stock of videogame retailer GameStop went up 65% after ‘Roaring Kitty’ (the former marketer who’s been credited with igniting the 2021 meme-stock rally) returned to X.com for the first time in three years to endorse it as one of today’s top stocks.

Other beaten-down short targets, including AMC, went up 32%, while Koss Corp shot up 25% to become another of today’s leading stocks.

Alphabet fell 1.5% ahead of Monday’s expected release of Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s artificial intelligence (AI) search product.

Apple added 1.6% after reports that it was close to striking a deal with OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, to bring the startup’s technology to the iPhone, a stock to watch today.

Advancers outnumbered decliners by a 2.26-to-1 margin on the NYSE and a 1.99-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

On the S&P 500 32 stocks made new 52-week highs while zero made new low; on the Nasdaq, 125 stocks made new highs while 61 stocks made new lows, once again highlighting the volatility inherent in top stocks of this decade.

The global stock indexes rose on Monday as the US dollar fell a little bit ahead of this week’s crucial US inflation data, which are still viewed as a key indicator of the future for US interest rates.

Some of today’s top stocks are in focus for investors.

The consumer prices report from the US is likely to take centre stage, although US producer prices will be released this week as will the latest European inflation data—final readings that should confirm expectations that we could see a cut to the benchmark refinancing rate by the European Central Bank in June.

Chinese retail sales numbers and production data will also be out, all factors influencing the best stocks today.

Meanwhile, this week features an array of comments from Federal Reserve speakers, including Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, amid investors’ keen focus on inflation, trying to gauge just how quickly the US central bank may cut rates.

Economists polled by Reuters expect the closely watched core CPI to increase 0.3% for the month, down from March’s 0.4%, and a 3.6% annual gain, down from 3.8%.

‘Investors have to get some degree of comfort that inflation is not going to go back up – and potentially come down – to give the Fed cover for at least one, maybe two cuts before the end of the year,’ said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital LLC.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 98.29 points, or 0.25%, to end at 39,611.13. The S and P 500 rose 5.65 points, or 0.11%, to 5,228.33.

The Nasdaq Composite added 30.04 points, or 0.18%, to 16,370.91.

The quarterly US earnings reporting season is nearing an end, but this week’s crop includes some of the country’s biggest retailers, such as Walmart. MSCI’s all-country world stock index added 1.54 points, or 0.20% to 783.60.

The broadest measure of the globe’s stock markets is also heavily influenced by the performance of the biggest stocks.

Stoxx 600, the broadest gauge of European stocks, was almost unchanged.

Earlier, Chinese stocks were restive. China’s finance ministry announced it would start the long-awaited sale this week of 1 trillion yuan ($138.23 billion) of long-term treasury bonds, to bolster key sectors of an economy that’s slowing sharply.

This has an impact on what the expert on top stocks today thinks you should be focused on.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s performance against a basket of six currencies, declined 0.18% to 105.14.

The superior growth prospects of the US economy are supporting the currency and only the threat of throwing in the towel between Japan’s central bank and the nation’s finance ministry is holding it back from breaking through the 160 yen barrier once again.

The Bank of Japan sent a hawkish signal to markets by reducing the size of a conventional operation to buy Japanese government bonds.

The dollar rose 0.1% against the Japanese yen to 155.90 and held near its highest level since May 2 of 155.965 after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points.

The euro edged up 0.3% to $1.0803, while benchmark 10-year note yields last fell 3 basis points to 4.615%.

US crude rose 1.11% to $79.13 a barrel, while Brent added 0.87% to $83.51 per barrel, and spot gold lost 0.77% to $2,342.20 an ounce.

Multiple commodities, including gold, weighed on the main stocks today.

Investors saw a flat session for Europe’s STOXX 600 on Monday as they awaited a slew of euro-zone economic data as well as a key U.S. inflation report due later this week that could potentially snuff out the benchmark index’s recent record run.

Movements in top stocks today followed these expectations.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was little changed, but stayed near all-time highs.

Automobiles led sectoral gains, rebounding after a four-day losing streak, while defence stocks fell by 1.2%.

The benchmark index rose to a record high on Friday, with its biggest weekly gain since late January, driven by strong corporate results.

Among the top stocks today, the STOXX 600 regained strength from the middle of May, as geopolitical tensions and uncertainty over monetary policy cooled off in April.

Meanwhile, investor attention is on readings for US producer and consumer price inflation due on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

As they might influence further potential rate cuts by the Federal Reserve this year, while later this week’s releases of final inflation and flash first-quarter GDP readings for the euro zone will provide clues as to the likely direction of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) interest rate path as well.

Since the ECB has recently flagged its own potential June cut though it has also stressed that policy uncertainty extends well beyond that date and the central bank is independent of what the Fed does.

‘Despite the frequent verbal affirmations by many ECB speakers of their independence from the Fed, history tells us that divergences in the past 25 years were in hindsight usually considered mistakes,’ wrote analysts at ING Research. ‘Inflation dynamics are usually correlated, and ignoring the reflationary signals coming from the other side of the Atlantic are ill-advised.

Healthcare stocks were in focus on Monday as well, with Novo Nordisk climbing 3% at the top of the main index. Denmark’s Medicines Agency announced a shortage of supply on two doses of Novo Nordisk’s weight-loss drug Wegovy until the end of the year due to higher demand.

AP Moeller-Maersk surged 7%, the best daily performance on the main index, with freight rates rising as a combination of higher trade volumes and the Red Sea crisis boosted demand for shipping containers. These were the top stocks on the market today.

Spanish drugs company Almirall rose 1.3% after announcing strong first-quarter results and repeating its full-year profitability targets.

German consumer electronics firm Ceconomy added 6.2% to its share price after reporting full-year earnings above expectations.

The performance of these individual giants sums up the state of play today.

Meanwhile, Holcim dropped 4% as the Swiss cement maker’s stock traded ex-dividend, and EDP fell 3% after Goldman Sachs trimmed its view of the stock to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’.

And OX2 climbed 40% after private equity company EQT proposed a cash offer to buy the Swedish renewable energy group for 16.4 billion crowns ($1.51 billion).

As these moves – in both directions – underscored again: it’s the seesaws that matter in top stocks today.

Britain’s FTSE 100 halted its six-session winning streak on Monday, dragged down by falls in aerospace and defence stocks, as investors looked for fresh data and comments from Bank of England (BoE) officials on the economy.

The FTSE 100 (.FTSE) fell 0.2% after the BoE’s turn to a dovish stance sent it to record highs in 11 of the past 13 sessions. The mid-cap FTSE 250 fell 0.4% and the pound strengthened to $1.2557 against the dollar.

The FTSE 100 has paused for breath after its record run, opening flat and then edging down over the course of the session, Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented. ‘There could be some profit-taking as investors have enjoyed this record run by the FTSE 100.’

Aerospace and defense shares (.FTNMX502010) were the biggest laggards on top stocks today, having their worst session in over two weeks, and dragging the index into negative territory. BAE Systems (BAES.L) led the sector lower, down 3.2% after the defence equipment maker was downgraded to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ at BofA Global Research.

Investors will now be waiting on labour market data, to be released on Tuesday, as well as further guidance from the Bank of England’s chief economist Huw Pill and external monetary policy panel member Megan Greene on the timing of policy loosening.

Wall Street’s most heralded equities will also be sensitive to US inflation numbers due on Wednesday, which will offer further clues about the Federal Reserve’s trajectory of interest rates.

On corporate news, shares in BHP Group (BHP.AX) fell 3.2% after the miner said Anglo American (AAL.L) had rejected the latest buyout proposal worth 34 billion pounds ($42.67 billion).

Shares in Phoenix Group (PHNX.L) fell 2.3% after the insurer said its chief financial officer, Rakesh Thakrar, was stepping down from his role.

Meanwhile, the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 was Diploma Plc (DPLM.L), which hit a fresh record of its own, rising 4% as the technical products and services provider offered a promising outlook.

Today’s top stocks illustrate the market’s diverging reaction to recent economic news and corporate news.

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