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Stock market: Global stocks mostly up as lockdowns and inflation loom

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Shares rose broadly in morning trading on Wall Street on Monday as investors head for a shortened vacation week with assurances about the Federal Reserve’s leadership.

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% at 10:19 a.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 274 points, or 0.8%, to 35,876 and the Nasdaq rose 0.9%.

Tech companies led the gains. Apple rose 3.1% and chipmaker Nvidia rose 3.5%.

Retailers and other businesses that rely on consumer spending also posted solid gains. The spread increased 2.5% and Best Buy increased 4%.

Retailers are on the cusp of the peak holiday shopping season, which traditionally begins just after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Real estate and health care stocks have lagged the market as a whole.

Markets were reassured after US President Joe Biden announced he would appoint Jerome Powell to a second four-year term as head of the Federal Reserve, a vote of confidence in Powell’s handling of central bank policies during the sudden disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The central bank is starting to cut back on bond purchases that have helped keep interest rates low in order to support the economy and markets.

The decision to ease this support comes as rising inflation weighs on the economic recovery. This forces investors to keep a close watch on the Fed to see if the process stays smooth or if the Fed will need to change its strategy in light of inflation pressures.

Bond yields have increased. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.59% from 1.54% on Friday night. Banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans, have gained ground. Bank of America rose 2.4%.

The dollar also strengthened against other currencies. The price of gold, a haven for anxious investors, fell 1.9%.

Markets in Europe and Asia were mixed, as a resurgence of coronavirus outbreaks prompted some countries to turn to stricter precautions to curb a new wave of the pandemic.

Investors face a relatively light week of economic updates. The National Association of Realtors reported surprisingly good sales for previously occupied homes in October on Monday.

The Commerce Department will release October data for new home sales on Wednesday, along with third quarter gross domestic product data.

Markets in the United States will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will also close early Friday.

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