Wall Street closes little changed ahead of CPI data

STORY: U.S. stock closed essentially flat on Monday as investors held steady ahead of a highly-anticipated consumer price index report on Wednesday, after better-than-expected jobs data last week indicated the Federal Reserve might not let up on its fight against inflation.

The Dow ended with a fractional gain, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each lost about a tenth of a percent.

Palumbo Wealth Management's chief investment officer, Philip Palumbo, said the upcoming consumer price data will be key to Fed chair Jerome Powell's decision making.

“If the CPI print this week is stronger than the market expects, then ultimately, you'll see a market sell off because the Fed will have to continue to be as aggressive as he's (Powell) being. Just like the jobs numbers you saw on Friday. That gives the Fed confidence that it can continue to be aggressive with its policy overall to try to tame inflation. So, a strong print would only press him (Powell) more to do more of that.”

Shares of chipmaker Nvidia slid more than 6% after the company warned it expects second-quarter revenue to decline 19% from the prior quarter due to weakness in video game demand, which hit other tech and semiconductor stocks.

Offsetting losses on the Nasdaq were shares of Tesla, which rose after the electric-car maker reportedly signed contracts worth about $5 billion to buy battery materials from nickel processing companies in Indonesia.

And shares of other U.S. automakers jumped on Monday after the Senate passed a $430 billion bill to fight climate change that created new tax credits for electric vehicles and provides billions in funding for their production.