Dow rises to start the week as investors await midterm elections and inflation report

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose Monday as a packed week kicked off, with congressional midterm elections and key inflation data on deck over the next few days.

The Dow traded higher by 138 points, or 0.4%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.1%.

Shares of Apple fell more than 1% after the tech company said iPhone production has been temporarily reduced because of Covid-19 restrictions in China. Palantir shares, meanwhile, declined more than 5% after the company posted disappointing quarterly results.

Meanwhile, shares of Facebook parent Meta gained more than 3% following a Wall Street Journal report that said the company could start layoffs as soon as Wednesday.

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Tuesday’s midterm election will determine which party will control Congress, and impact the direction of future spending. Democrats currently control the House, and have a majority in the Senate.

Investors could approve of a potential gridlock that may come out of the midterm elections as a Democratic president, with a Republican or split Congress, has historically meant above-average gains, according to RBC’s Lori Calvasina in a Monday note.

“The market is hopeful that some kind of Republican sweep of Congress will lead to either a sort of stalemate in Washington, which they read as good, or at least no new spending, which would be good for rates and Treasury supply,” said Brad Conger, deputy CIO at Hirtle Callaghan & Co.

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On the economic front, investors are anticipating that Thursday’s consumer price index report will give further insight into how far the Federal Reserve needs to go to bring down inflation. A hot report could signal to investors that a pivot from a prolonged period of higher interest rates may not be imminent.

″[In] order for the equity and bond markets to match the post-peak inflation performance noted in the table, inflation needs to keep coming down — and at a faster pace than we’ve yet seen. Until the Fed signals the ‘pivot’ is near, things could remain challenging,” Baird’s Ross Mayfield wrote in a recent note.

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Elsewhere, several companies are expected to report Monday including Activision BlizzardLyft and Take-Two Interactive. Corporate earnings season is winding down with a majority of companies in the S&P 500 having reported results.

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