Stock Market Today: Stocks Rise Ahead of Fed Meeting, Big Tech Earnings

The main indexes notched notable gains ahead of a busy week on Wall Street.
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(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks rose Monday as investors looked ahead to a week full of potential fireworks. These highly anticipated events include the next Federal Reserve meeting, a heavy batch of Big Tech earnings and the January jobs report.  

At the close, the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.1% at 15,628, the S&P 500 was 0.8% higher at 4,927, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6% to 38,333.

While today's price action for the main indexes was relatively muted for most of the day, there was plenty of action seen in individual equities. SoFi Technologies (SOFI), for one, soared 20.2% – one of its best days ever – after the fintech firm posted its first-ever quarterly profit. ;

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Specifically, SOFI recorded fourth-quarter net income of 2 cents per share vs a per-share loss of 5 cents in the year-ago period. Revenue jumped 35% year-over-year to $615 million.

iRobot spirals on Amazon news, job cuts

iRobot (IRBT) was another big mover, shedding 8.8% on news the Roomba maker and Amazon.com (AMZN, +1.3%) called off their proposed merger. In , the two companies said the $1.7 billion deal "has no path to regulatory approval in the European Union, preventing Amazon and iRobot from moving forward together – a loss for consumers, competition, and innovation."

IRBT also unveiled an "operational restructuring plan" that includes laying off 31% of its workforce this year and the departure of CEO Colin Angle. 

The next Fed meeting starts tomorrow 

Looking ahead, there's plenty on the horizon that could spark major moves in the equities market. The next Fed meeting is certainly near the top of the list. While the central bank is all but certain to keep interest rates unchanged when the meeting concludes Wednesday afternoon, market participants will be looking for clues on the Fed's timeline for potential rate cuts. 

"The Fed got badly burned in late 2021 and early 2022 when they thought high inflation would be transitory, only to see it rebound and worsen," says , chief economist for Comerica Bank. "They are determined to avoid making the same mistake twice." Adams says that while there's a chance the Fed will signal a possible rate cut in March, "they are more likely to wait until the second quarter to start reducing the target rate."

Market participants seem to agree. According to CME Group's , futures traders are currently pricing in a 47% chance for a quarter-point rate cut at the March meeting. However, the odds are greater (51%) that the Fed waits until May to start cutting rates.

Big Tech earnings, January jobs report also in focus

Meanwhile, this week's earnings calendar is loaded up with Big Tech names, including Alphabet (GOOGL, +0.9%) and Microsoft (MSFT, +1.4%) which both report after tomorrow's close.

If that's not enough, Friday brings the January jobs report. "Layoffs peak in January as workers hired for the holiday period are let go," says David Mericle, senior U.S. economist at . While the economist notes that internal data indicates layoffs will be significantly lower than usual this year, he's still anticipating 250,000 new jobs were added at the start of 2024, more than the 216,000 seen in the December jobs report.

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Senior Investing Editor, 49ermike.com
With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is the senior investing editor at 49ermike.com. She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.