S&P 500 Slips After Index Hits Record

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U.S. stocks inched lower Monday at the start of a busy week of corporate earnings and economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 52 points, or 0.2%, to 33747 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 declined 0.2%, backing away after setting its 20th all-time closing high of the year Friday, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3%.

Investors on Monday said they were positioning for the start of earnings season, as well as data that will help to gauge whether a coming burst of inflation will prove transitory. Inflation data due on Tuesday are expected to show consumer prices picked up in March.

“All of these things need to deliver in quite a Goldilocks manner for the current gains to remain intact,” said Edward Park, chief investment officer at U.K. investment firm Brooks Macdonald.

Shares of technology giants have taken back control of the rally in U.S. stocks over the past month, helping to push major indexes to a series of all-time highs. Investors’ concerns about owning shares that are sensitive to rising interest rates have been assuaged by a retreat in yields on U.S. government bonds. Some say the shift into economically sensitive sectors went too far at a time when major economies like the European Union and India are grappling with fresh coronavirus outbreaks.

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