Tech and energy stocks lead major indices down in US trade

title=s

A woman walks past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong Stock Index on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday, August 9, 2021. Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Monday after China and the Australia have tightened anti-virus controls that threaten to weigh on an economic recovery. (AP Photo / Vincent Yu)

PA

Stocks edged down on Wall Street as investors scrutinize the latest corporate earnings reports and cautiously watch the latest wave of the virus for its impact on economic growth.

The S&P 500 was down less than 0.1% at 2:19 p.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 62 points, or 0.2%, to 35,146 and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.

All major indexes posted weekly gains last week, which resulted in record highs for the S&P 500 and the Dow.

Energy companies collapsed as the price of benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 3.3% to its lowest levels since May. This drop follows a 7.7% drop last week. Occidental Petroleum lost 2.8%.

Tech companies were among the biggest players in the broader market. Micron Technology fell 1.9%.

The latest round of corporate earnings is drawing to a close and nearly 90% of S&P 500 companies have released their latest results. Reports have for the most part been solid. Tyson Foods jumped 8.5% after handily beating Wall Street earnings forecasts.

Airbnb, DoorDash and Walt Disney are all set to release their latest financial results on Thursday.

Investors are also closely monitoring the world’s reaction to the latest wave of coronavirus. Some governments have reimposed limits on business and travel. China has canceled flights as it tries to stop a wave of epidemics. Australia’s two most populous states have told people to stay home except to go to work or for a handful of other reasons.

Analysts expect the US and global economies to continue growing, but have warned that the resurgence of the virus could slow the pace.

“It’s part of the story and it could put the brakes on the stock market,” said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds. “We don’t really have a clue how bad the delta variant is.”

Investors have received a constant stream of encouraging economic reports. The latest from the Department of Labor shows that American employers posted a record 10.1 million job postings in June. This follows Friday’s report that the economy generated 943,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from 5.9% in June.

Strong employment figures also raise concerns about wage inflation and the pace of economic growth.

“We are quickly coming back to full employment,” Kelly said. “Once we get there, the economy will slow down.”

The latest figures also raise concerns about inflation fueled by improving labor market conditions, as employers are potentially forced to raise wages to fill positions.

Investors will get more inflation data when the Labor Department releases its consumer price index for July on Wednesday. Wall Street is still trying to gauge how far inflation could rise as the economy recovers and whether that will cause the Federal Reserve to reduce its support for the economy sooner than expected.

Bond yields have increased. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bill rose to 1.31% from 1.28% on Friday night.

The main European indices fell slightly while the Asian indices ended mixed.

Comments are closed.