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* Apple, Amazon top boosts to Nasdaq
* Meme stocks gain as short squeeze continues
* Energy sector at near 4-month high
* Indexes all flat
June 8 (Reuters) - Wall Street indexes were flat on Tuesday
as investors took to the sidelines ahead of key inflation data
this week, while Clover Health led a rally among popular social
Shares of the health insurer surged more than 50%
as it became the new center of attention on social media
platforms for individual traders, who have taken to hyping up
stocks with large short positions in what they have dubbed "the
mother of all short squeezes".
Broader sentiment was muted as investors awaited further
cues on policy tapering from the Federal Reserve after what is
expected to be a strong inflation reading on Thursday.
Even then, Wall Street's so-called "fear gauge" fell
to its lowest level since February 2020.
"There is more and more evidence of improving economic
momentum. However, even as the market is pricing inflation to be
transitory, they now expect the period of inflationary pressures
to be slightly longer than initially thought," said Jon Adams,
senior investment strategist, BMO Global Asset Management.
The Fed's meeting next week is widely anticipated for more
cues on policy, given that weak payrolls data - a key factor for
the Fed to alter policy - had recently dented expectations of
At 11:55 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 18.14 points, or 0.05%, at 34,612.10 and the S&P 500
was down 3.17 points, or 0.08%, at 4,223.35. The Nasdaq
Composite was down 8.98 points, or 0.06%, at 13,872.75.
The S&P energy sector rose 0.7%, and was trading at
its highest level in nearly four months, as recent gains in oil
prices boosted the space.
But Wall Street appeared to have fallen into a lull this
week, having moved little on Monday after surging to record
highs through a strong earnings season in May.
"Its a very good and healthy pause the markets have taken
right now and I would expect it to remain range-bound for now
until any data that comes as a surprise," said Sean O'Hara,
president of Pacer ETFs in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Shares of Apple rose 0.7% after sources told
Reuters the iPhone maker was in early-stage talks with China's
CATL and BYD about the supply of
batteries for its planned electric vehicle.
Amazon rose 1.6% and was the top boost to the
Nasdaq as it began outlining prescription plans through
its online pharmacy.
Electric carmaker Tesla Inc reversed early gains
even as sales of its China-made vehicles surged in May.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.33-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE, and for a 1.12-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 44 new 52-week highs and one new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 122 new highs and seven new lows.
(Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Maju Samuel)