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01/07/24 Briefing

US stocks edged higher on Monday to start the second half — and third quarter — of 2024 as investors began counting down to the July 4 break and the key US jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 0.1% while the S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 0.3%. The tech-filled Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) climbed about 0.8%.

Tesla (TSLA) stock popped roughly 6% ahead of the EV giant's quarterly delivery results due out on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Nvidia (NVDA) shares erased earlier losses, temporarily easing worries the chip heavyweight could be trading intreacherous waters.

Stocks are having a bumpy ride to kick off a trading week cut short by the Independence Day holiday. Investors are debating whether the second half will bring a pullback or a broadening in the record-breaking tech-driven rally that lifted the benchmark S&P 500 to a near-15% gain this year so far.

Coming into focus is the June jobs reportdue Friday, watched for signs of cooling in the labor market that could help make a case for interest rate cuts. Encouraging signs that inflation is slowing toward the Federal Reserve's target, plus emerging cracks in the economy, have spurred hopes for a policy pivot.

US manufacturing activity data released on Monday showed the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing PMIfell further into contraction territory in June, hitting a four-month low.

US political risks have also started to emerge into the picture amid questions about whether President Joe Biden's future as the Democratic Party's standard bearer.

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