The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.6% on Monday as oil prices soared amid concerns of inflation and a looming recession. The S&P 500 remained mostly flat after a lower open, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average bucked the trend and rose by 315 points, or 0.9%. Chevron shares led the Dow higher, rising by 3.9%.
The output cut by OPEC+, which is slashing 1.16 million barrels per day, sent oil prices soaring. West Texas Intermediate crude was 6.6% higher, while international benchmark Brent crude climbed 6%. Traders are shedding optimism from recent market strength with the prospect of higher oil prices adding to fears of higher inflation and a looming recession.
The spike in oil prices resulted in the Energy Select Sector SPDR fund (XLE), which tracks the S&P 500 energy sector, popping more than 4%. Marathon Oil and Halliburton were the fund’s best performers, rising 9% and 6.2%, respectively. The prospect of higher oil prices could add further unease to Wall Street as the output cut plays out.
Despite the first quarter of 2022 ending with all three major averages positive, the recent rally may be short-lived given stronger macroeconomic factors, according to OANDA senior market analyst Ed Moya. Key pieces of economic data for investors, including job openings data, ADP private payrolls report and the closely watched monthly jobs report, will be released later in the week.