US stocks try to recover from worst week since October

Posted February 1, 2021 9:36 a.m. EST

— US stocks started February on a better note, trying to reverse some of the recent losses that turned the last week -- as well as the last month -- into the worst since October.

The major US indexes opened higher, with the Dow opening 0.9%, or 255 points, higher. The broader S&P 500 kicked off 1% higher. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.3%.

GameStop, meanwhile, took a backseat, slipping some 8%. The gaming retailer dominated Wall Street last week after a group of retail investors chatting on Reddit pushed the stock up some 400%, causing a massive short squeeze for institutional investors, such as hedge funds, who had been betting against the business.

The GameStop frenzy raised many questions including whether investment products were priced appropriately and the democratization of trading.

But at the start of this week, stock indexes around the globe are in the green.

The Reddit investors have moved on to literally shinier things: silver. Silver futures were up more than 11% at nearly $30 per ounce early Monday. Stock traders must be glad about this new focus.

In terms of bigger macro themes, the vaccine rollout that promises the end of lockdowns at some point in the future remains a focus. As does President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which is the topic of debate in Washington.

It's also a week with plenty of economic data, including a look at the US jobs market in January. Following the December loss of 140,000 jobs the expectations for Friday's report are muted, with a flat unemployment rate at 6.7% and a net gain of 50,000 jobs.

Later today, the ISM manufacturing index for January will be released.

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