Stock Market Today: S&P 500 ends lower as Apple dents tech, rate-cut bets cool

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Stock Market Today: S&P 500 ends lower as Apple dents tech, rate-cut bets cool
Credit: © Reuters. -- The S&P 500 fell just short in its bid for another record close on Monday, pressured by an Apple-led slump in tech and a further cooling in sooner rate-cut expectations ahead of a busy week of top-tier economic data and testimony from Fed chair Jerome Powell.

At 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the benchmark S&P 500 fell 0.1% just shy of its closing high  of 5,137.08, whiel the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.4%, and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 97 points, or 0.2%.  

Fed official continue to urge patience on rate cuts ahead of Powell testimony, nonfarm payrolls 

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic struck a caution tone on rate cuts Monday, the anticipation of the Fed cutting rates sooner rather than later could feed into the "pent- up exuberance," unleashing a fresh wave of demand-led inflation on stronger economic growth and undoing the Fed's progress. 

Bets on a June rate cut were marginally lower, with about 49.5% expecting a cut, down from 57% a day earlier.

The remarks came just days ahead of of testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell before a House Committee on Wednesday and a Senate panel on Thursday.

Powell is anticipated to largely reiterate the Fed’s stance that rates should be kept steady in the face of sticky inflation -- a notion that has been echoed by several officials at the central bank over the past two weeks.

"Jay Powell is unlikely to commit to a start date for policy rate cuts at his testimony this week. A pivot to December's 'dovish' tone is unlikely," Macquarie said in a note.

After Powell’s testimony, February nonfarm payrolls data is due out on Friday. The reading could offer fresh insight into the state of the labor market, a key consideration for Fed rate-setters. 

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) gets hit with $2B antitrust fine; Super Micro boosts chip stocks

Apple received a 1.84 billion euro antitrust fine received from the European Commission for allegedly stifling competition from rival music streaming services including Spotify (NYSE: SPOT ) by imposing restrictions on its App store. 

Apple said it would appeal the fine, but its shares fell 2% dragging big tech lower, though a rising semiconductors kept a lid on losses in the broader tech space. Super Micro Computer Inc (NASDAQ: SMCI ), up 18%, led the charge for chip stocks as investors cheered new that the AI server maker i set to join the S&P 500 on Mar. 18. 

Investor group increases Macy's takeover offer

Macy's (NYSE: M ) jumped more than 13% after an investor group consisting of Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital hiked its offer to take the department store chain private to $24 in cash per Macy’s share, up from its earlier offer of $21 per share. 

The offer represents a 33% premium to Macy’s close on Friday, and values the chain at about $6.6 billion. Arkhouse said that the group was open to further increasing the takeover price.

Macy's, which rejected a prior bid in November, said in a statement on Sunday that its board will review the new proposal. The offer comes after Macy's announced a major restructuring drive that will see the firm slash costs, reduce inventory, and shutter 150 stores over the next three years.

Cryptocurrency-related stocks surge as Bitcoin targets all-time high

Crypto-related stocks, including crypto exchange Coinbase Global (NASDAQ: COIN ), and crypto miners Marathon Digital (NASDAQ: MARA ), Riot Platforms (NASDAQ: RIOT ) and CleanSpark (NASDAQ: CLSK ) were sharply higher after bitcoin topped $67,000 as it looks to surpass its prior high of $68,990.90. 

(Scott Kanowsky, Ambar Warrick contributed to this report.)

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