S&P 500, Nasdaq set record closing highs as Fed meeting looms



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* Lordstown slumps after CEO, CFO resign

* Tech-heavy Nasdaq outperforms S&P 500, Dow

* Indexes: Nasdaq, S&P gain; Dow down

By David French and Medha Singh

June 14 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq unofficially finished at record highs on Monday as most traders focused on this week's Federal Reserve meeting and not on adding to existing positions.

Investors are seeking new cues from the central bank on its inflation outlook, after recent data indicated the U.S. economy is regaining momentum but not overheating. This has eased investor worries about inflation.

While the Fed has reassured that any spike in inflation would be transitory, policymakers could begin discussing the tapering of bond buying at the Tuesday-Wednesday meeting. Most analysts, however, do not expect a decision before the central bank's annual Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference in August.

Any shift in the Fed's dovish rhetoric could upend equity markets. The three main benchmarks are all trading higher year to date.

"There are really good arguments on both sides of the inflation argument, but to think it's a good idea to make substantive changes right now, based on continued increase in inflation or a transitory rate, seems silly to me," said Mark Stoeckle, CEO and senior portfolio manager of the Adams Funds.

High-growth tech-related stocks, which were at the heart of a sell-off driven by fears of rising rates, have regained their footing this month at the expense of economy-linked industrials .SPLRCI , financials .SPSY and materials .SPLRCM stocks.

Materials and financials dragged on the S&P 500 on Monday, while technology .SPLRCT and consumer discretionary .SPLRCD were in positive territory.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 85.52 points, or 0.25%, to 34,394.08, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 7.76 points, or 0.18%, to 4,255.2 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 104.72 points, or 0.74%, to 14,174.14.

Having traded up earlier in the day as crude prices hit their highest levels in more than two years, the energy index .SPNY slipped.

Lordstown Motors Corp RIDE.O tumbled after it said Chief Executive Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez have resigned, days after the electric-truck maker warned that it may not have enough cash to stay in business over the next year.

The news weighed on special purpose acquisition companies that are trying to merge with electric-vehicle manufacturers, as Lordstown Motors did. Churchill Capital Corp IV CCIV.N , which is combining with Lucid Motors, and ArcLight Clean Transition Corp ACTC.O , which announced a tie-up with electric bus maker Proterra, were among those lower.

Tesla gained as CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the electric-car maker may resume bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin vaulted back above $40,000 on Musk's comments.


Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru and David French in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and Dan Grebler


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