Stock futures were slightly lower Monday morning to start March’s last—and shortened—trading week. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged lower by 87 points, or 0.2%. S&P futures and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively. The market is on track for its fifth consecutive month of gains, with the major U.S. stock benchmarks crossing new all-time closing high levels last week. The S&P 500 added roughly 2.3% last week, while the Dow gained just under 2% for its best week since December, nearing the 40,000 level. The Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile, jumped about 2.9% during the period. These gains were fueled by the Federal Reserve’s latest remarks that maintained central bankers’ rate-cutting timeline for this year, as well as investors’ ongoing enthusiasm for tech stocks amid the AI-powered rally. Overall investor sentiment remains above its historical average, according to the latest weekly American Association of Individual Investors Sentiment Survey, reflecting persistent market optimism. Still, some investors fear the potential impact of an overextended rally and higher-for-longer interest rates. “Examining Fed rate cycles since the 1970s has revealed that, generally speaking, investors have more to fear from the first rate cut in a cycle than the pause, the period in which the central bank stops tightening and has yet to ease,” Strategas Securities analyst Ryan Grabinksi wrote in a Friday note. This week, investors will gain further insight about the path of inflation from the February personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, released Friday morning. The market’s reaction will be determined on the following Monday given the Good Friday holiday. U.S. Treasury yields rose slightly on Monday as investors awaited fresh economic data slated for this week that could provide hints about the state of the economy. The 10-year Treasury yield was up by over 1 basis point at 4.232%. The yield on the 2-year Treasury yield was last over 2 basis points higher at 4.621%. Asia-Pacific markets were mostly lower on Monday as investors monitored inflation data from the region. Singapore and Malaysia both released inflation reports that came in higher than expected on Monday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was slightly above the flatline in the final hour of trading, while the mainland China’s CSI 300 index ended the day 0.54% lower at 3,525.76, marking its third straight day of losses. Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 1.16% lower at 40,414.12, retreating from its all-time high on Friday, while the broad-based Topix closed down 1.26% at 2,777.64. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.4% to 2,737.57, after opening higher and coming close to two-year highs. The small-cap Kosdaq gained 1.07% and finished at 913.69. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.53% and closed at 7,811.9, rebounding from Friday’s losses and edging close to record highs. Oil prices rose in early Asian trading on Monday on concern over tighter global supply brought about by escalating conflict in the Middle East and between Russia and Ukraine, while a shrinking U.S. rig count added to upward price pressure. Brent crude futures had climbed 24 cents, or 0.3%, to $85.67 a barrel at 0029 GMT. U.S. crude futures gained 25 cents, or 0.3%, to $80.88 per barrel. Both benchmarks logged less a than 1% change last week versus the previous week. Gold prices edged higher on Monday as renewed bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve would begin cutting interest rates in June. Spot gold was up 0.3% at $2,169.69 per ounce. U.S. gold futures climbed 0.5% to $2,171.10 per ounce.