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Dow hits record high on boost from economy-linked stocks; Nasdaq drops

3 minute read

The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York City, U.S., May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high on Monday on hopes that interest rates would remain lower for longer, while the S&P 500 was subdued as a slide in technology shares offset a surge in commodity-linked energy and material stocks.

The Nasdaq, on the contrary, dropped 1.5% as some of the market leaders of 2020 - Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) - fell between 1.4% and 4%.

The materials sector (.SPLRCM) hit a record high as miners and makers of steel products gained after gold, copper and aluminum scaled new peaks.

The energy index (.SPNY) jumped to its highest in more than one year after a cyber attack on top U.S. pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline shuttered a fuel network that transports nearly half of the East Coast's supplies.

The S&P 500 and the Dow ended at record closing highs on Friday as an unexpected slowdown in monthly jobs growth fueled bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve would remain accommodative for longer.

With latest economic reports depicting that the U.S. economy is not recovering at the explosive pace as previously forecast, inflation numbers and retail sales data this week could chart the next course for U.S. equities.

"Inflation data is pretty important from a market leadership perspective," said Keith Parker, head of U.S. and global equity strategy at UBS.

"The number should come in strong, and probably contribute to another leg in the reflation value rotation."

Breakeven rates on inflation on five-year and 10-year U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), a proxy to inflation expectations, roared to their highest since 2011 and 2013 respectively.

The Russell 1000 value index (.RLV), which includes economically sensitive financials and energy stocks, added 0.9%, while its tech-heavy growth counterpart (.RLG) shed 1.1%.

At 11:32 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 299.59 points, or 0.86%, at 35,077.35, rising for the seventh straight session, while the S&P 500 (.SPX) was down 0.39 points, or 0.01%, at 4,232.21 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was down 205.65 points, or 1.50%, at 13,546.59.

Economy-linked financials (.SPNY), industrials (.SPLRCI) and healthcare (.SPXHC) hit fresh peaks and provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500.

Technology (.SPLRCT), communication services (.SPLRCL) and consumer discretionary (.SPLRCD) that house megacap technology-related stocks were the only S&P sectors in the red.

The NYSE FANG+TM index (.NYFANG) and Philadelphia semiconductor index declined nearly 3% each.

The Dow transports (.DJT), considered a barometer of economic health, added about 1.2%.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye (FEYE.O) rose 4.8% as industry sources said the company was among those helping Colonial Pipeline to recover from one of the most disruptive digital ransom schemes reported.

Tyson Foods Inc (TSN.N) dropped 2% after the U.S. meat processor warned rising costs would start to hit profits.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.36-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.68-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 214 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 189 new highs and 110 new lows.

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