MARKET SNAPSHOT: S&P 500, Nasdaq Inch Up To Records As Retailers Rise On Cyber Monday

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch , Ryan Vlastelica Features Dow Jones Newswires

Time Inc. gains on buyout news

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U.S. stocks rose modestly on Monday, with both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq inching up to intraday records as traders returned to work in the first full trading session after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Financial stocks were among the strongest of the day, as were consumer discretionary names, which were in focus amid Cyber Monday shopping. Those positive moves were offset by weakness in the energy sector, the biggest decliner of the day.

What are stocks doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27 points, or 0.1%, to 23,582. The S&P 500 was up 3 points to 2,605, a gain of 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3 points to 6,892, a gain of less than 0.1%.

Both the S&P and the Nasdaq hit intraday records while the Dow was a few points under its own all-time high.

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Read:Throw out the stock-market playbook as S&P 500 nears 3,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/time-to-throw-out-the-stock-market-playbook-as-sp-500-nears-3000-2017-11-25)

What could help drive markets?

The retail sector was in focus as the holiday shopping season continued. Cyber Monday shopping is expected to set an online sales record, according to forecasts from Adobe, which reported that Black Friday sales online hit a record $5.03 billion (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/black-friday-online-sales-reach-record-5-billion-2017-11-25).

Among companies benefiting from that spending spree, Amazon.com (AMZN)(AMZN)rose 1.7%. The stock hit a record in early trading and was on track for its fourth straight record close (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-black-friday-records-push-jeff-bezoss-fortune-past-100-billion-2017-11-24). The stock was one of the biggest boosts to the consumer discretionary sector.

Separately, the S&P Retail index rose 0.8% on the day. Among major retailers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc(WMT) was up 0.9% while Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY) was up 1.3%. Macy's Inc.(M) is up 0.9%, though it has lost more than 40% thus far this year. The department store reported trouble with its credit-card systems (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macys-stock-drops-amid-reports-of-black-friday-credit-card-glitch-2017-11-24) on Friday, with customers taking to Twitter to complain.

Opinion: Investors can feel safe ignoring the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping reports (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/black-friday-shopping-wont-signal-the-stock-markets-december-path-2017-11-22)

Investors will also watch for developments surrounding the Republican tax plan, with a Senate vote on proposed tax changes expected this week--perhaps as early as Tuesday. Republican leaders have said they expect both the House and Senate will hammer out a deal on taxes before year-end. Hope of market-boosting tax reforms from President Donald Trump's administration is one catalyst helping drive U.S. stock markets higher over the past year.

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-how-tied-retail-stocks-are-to-black-friday-and-holiday-shopping-2017-11-16) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/black-friday-shopping-wont-signal-the-stock-markets-december-path-2017-11-22)Which stocks were active?

Shares of Time Inc.(TIME) rose 9.2% in heavy trading after Meredith Corp.(MDP), the publisher of Better Homes & Gardens and Allrecipes, struck a $1.85 billion deal to buy the magazine publisher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/meredith-bets-on-magazine-industry-with-185-billion-time-purchase-2017-11-26). Meredith shares climbed 10%.

A pullback for technology stocks in Asia could weigh on that asset class in U.S. trading. Morgan Stanley downgraded Samsung Electronics (005930.SE) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2330.TW), which triggered sharp losses for those stocks in Asia.

What are analysts saying?

"Expectations of tax reforms, in my opinion, have kept Wall Street optimistic throughout the year and stocks at record highs. It's time for U.S. policy makers to deliver, or the long-awaited correction will likely occur soon," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

"The Senate is back from recess, and President Trump will meet senators on Tuesday. At this stage, neither economic data nor monetary policy will be given a lot of attention. It's all about fiscal policies, and without meaningful progress it's likely to be painful for stocks and the dollar," said Sayed in a note to clients.

What economic events could move markets?

Among the Federal Reserve highlights this week, Jerome Powell, nominated by President Trump to be the next Fed chairman, will take questions from the Senate on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/meet-the-next-fed-boss-same-as-the-old-boss-jerome-powell-to-face-senate-glare-2017-11-26). Fed. Gov. Powell is set to take over from outgoing Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who will testify to the Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday.

Opinion:The Trump Fed will fuel another huge stock-market rally (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-trump-fed-will-fuel-another-huge-stock-market-rally-2017-11-27)

On Monday, New York Fed President William Dudley is expected to appear in a moderated discussion at event sponsored by University of California, Berkeley, at 7 p.m. Eastern. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is due to take part in a moderated discussion at Winona State University at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

What are other assets doing?

European stocks posted mostly modest losses, (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/banks-drugmakers-push-european-stocks-toward-1-week-high-2017-11-27) while Asia stocks fell (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinese-stocks-drop-again-samsung-weighs-down-kospi-2017-11-26), driven by a 1.4% loss for the Korean KOSPI Composite Index and a 0.9% loss for both China's Shanghai Composite Index and the Taiwan Taiex Weighed Index .

U.S. oil futures slipped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-slip-from-2-year-high-as-traders-brace-for-opec-meeting-2017-11-27) 66 cents, or 1.1%, to $58.30 a barrel, as investors looked ahead to the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and nonmember oil producers on Thursday.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index fell, with the euro moving higher against the U.S. currency (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-hovers-at-2-month-high-buoyed-by-hopes-for-german-breakthrough-2017-11-27), while gold futures moved up.

Bitcoin surged to a new all-time high on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-flirts-with-10000-milestone-as-mesmerizing-performance-continues-2017-11-27), making its way closer to a new milestone of $10,000, as it rose 3.3% to $9,657.01. At current levels, Bitcoin has a market capitalization of more than $160 million, making it larger than General Electric Co.(GE)

Read:Bitcoin is 'a bubble that is bound to burst,' analysts warn (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-bitcoin-fever-is-like-the-dot-com-bubble-in-one-chart-2017-11-21)

Sara Sjolin contributed to this article

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2017 09:58 ET (14:58 GMT)