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The S&P 500 see-sawed on Monday and ended close to unchanged as investors girded for an expected rate hike at a Federal Reserve meeting this week and earnings from several large-cap growth companies. The TSX outperformed Wall Street indexes, thanks to a rally in energy stocks and the price of oil.

There were indications, however, that Tuesday could be a more challenging session - at least in the retail sector. After the closing bell on Monday, shares of Walmart were down more than 8% after it said it was cutting its forecast for full-year profit and blamed food and fuel inflation.

Shares in several other retailers were under pressure in post-market trading on the Wal-Mart news, including Amazon and Shopify, which were down about 4%. Target shares were down 5%.

For Monday’s session, the S&P/TSX composite index closed up 121.56 points, or 0.64%, at 19,104.48.

The energy sector was the biggest gainer on the Canadian index, climbing 3.55% as crude prices rose 2.2%, with investors trying to balance supply fears with expectations that a rise in U.S. interest rates would weaken fuel demand.

Energy firms Secure Energy Services, Spartan Delta Corp and Nuvista Energy were the best performers in Canada.

Materials stocks were among the biggest decliners, due to a lower gold price as well as disappointing earnings from the world’s largest gold miner, Newmont Corp. Newmont shares in the U.S. lost 13.2% after the miner raised its annual cost forecast and missed its second-quarter profit, hurt by lower gold prices and inflationary pressures. Spot gold fell 0.5%.

Investors this week are looking for results from miners including Teck Resources and First Quantum Minerals and energy companies including Enbridge and Imperial Oil. Rogers Communications and the Canadian railways are also scheduled to report results.

The Nasdaq ended lower, and S&P 500 technology and consumer discretionary led declines among major S&P sectors.

The Fed is expected to announce a 75 basis-point rate hike at the end of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, effectively ending pandemic-era support for the U.S. economy.

Comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell following the announcement will be key, as some investors worry that aggressive rate hikes could tip the U.S. economy into recession.

This week is expected to be the busiest in the second-quarter reporting period in the U.S., with results from about 170 S&P 500 companies due. Microsoft Corp and Google-parent Alphabet are due to report Tuesday. Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc are set for Thursday.

“It’s a crucial earnings season for the market, especially given the (recent) attempt by Nasdaq to climb higher,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Nasdaq, which has led declines among major sectors this year, gained more than 3% last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 90.75 points, or 0.28%, to 31,990.04, the S&P 500 gained 5.21 points, or 0.13%, to 3,966.84 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 51.45 points, or 0.43%, to 11,782.67.

S&P 500 earnings are expected to have climbed 6.1% for the second quarter from the year-ago period, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Along with inflation and rising interest rates, investors have been concerned about the impact of currency headwinds and lingering supply chain issues for companies this earnings season.

Tuesday brings reports on two housing indicators - the S&P Case-Shiller’s 20-city composite and the Commerce Department’s new home sales number.

Recent housing data has suggested the sector may be a harbinger of a cooling economy.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.34 billion shares, compared with the 11.0 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.55-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.05-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 1 new 52-week highs and 29 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 50 new highs and 105 new lows.

Reuters, Globe staff

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