Stocks pared early gains and turned slightly negative Monday to close out the first day of the week. 

Utility names led, followed closely by energy, while health care and materials lagged.

U.S. Treasury yields inched forward, with the 10-year rate passing 1.6 percent. 

Oil, which has seen a sharp rise in prices in recent months on strong demand, had a midday reversal and finished higher. 

On the international front, European and Asian indexes were higher as China beat economic data expectations.

No major data points were scheduled to be released, meaning investors digested Friday’s drop in consumer sentiment posted by the University of Michigan, ongoing COVID-19 pandemic trends and evolution on the inflation front. 

Retail inventories continued to post new lows, and manufacturing lead times remain elevated. 

The Biden administration has said the infrastructure bill, recently passed in Congress, will have deflationary effects for consumers. 

The administration plans to rush through infrastructure upgrades at U.S. ports to help ease a buildup of ships and goods.

Under the hood of equity markets, value outperformed growth, in line with value’s outperformance over the past week, as investor concerns around inflation escalated on the latest 6.2 percent reading. 

Walmart, Home Depot, Target and Lowes all report this week, which might provide more insight into consumer-spending habits and their effects on durable-goods demand. 

In addition to company earnings, analysts will be watching retail sales data being released today for direction in consumer spending.

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