A wobbly trading day on Wall Street left stocks slightly lower on Tuesday, pulling the market from all-time highs it had reached a day earlier.
The S&P 500 broke a three-day winning streak, slipping 0.1% after hesitating between small gains and losses much of the afternoon. Stocks in the benchmark were split almost evenly between winners and losers. Technology and healthcare stocks were responsible for much of the decline.
Financials fell as bond yields eased. This has thwarted the broader gains of companies that depend on continued economic growth to recover. Oil prices have gone up.
Much of the market swings lately have been happening as Wall Street assesses the health and speed of the economic recovery.
Many sectors and businesses have been strongly supported by the pandemic, as vaccine distribution helps businesses reopen, while government stimulus measures help consolidate businesses in the meantime. Even if this shift happens, the technology and other stocks that have benefited from the closings still look fundamentally strong, said Jeff Buchbinder, equity strategist at LPL Financial.
“We see this battle happening here in the markets every day,” he said. “This will lead to some unsubscribing.”
The S&P 500 lost 3.97 points to 4,073.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 96.95 points, or 0.3%, to 33,430.24. Both indices hit all-time highs on Monday. The highly technical Nasdaq composite slipped 7.21 points, or 0.1%, to 13,698.38.
Small company shares, which have outpaced the general market this year, have also fallen. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 5.73 points, or 0.3%, to 2,259.15. The index is up 14.4% so far this year, while the S&P 500, which tracks large companies, is up 8.5%.
Bond yields have fallen. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 1.65% from 1.72% Monday night. This has helped bring banks down as they rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. JPMorgan Chase was down 0.7%.
Investors weighed in concerns about rising inflation as the economy grows, as well as expectations that retailers and other service sector stocks will make solid gains as the world breaks through the pandemic and will return to a semblance of normalcy.
Retailers, cruise lines and hoteliers were among the winners on Tuesday. The spread increased 2.5%, Norwegian Cruise Line added 4.6% and Wynn Resorts gained 4%. Alaska Air Group climbed 3.7%, while Delta Air Lines closed up 2.8%.
The International Monetary Fund expects global economic growth to accelerate this year as vaccine distribution intensifies and the world rebounds. The 190-country lending agency said it expects the global economy to grow 6% in 2021, down from 5.5% it forecast in January. It would be the fastest expansion in IMF records dating back to 1980.
The United States Department of Labor reported that job vacancies reached their highest level on record in February, a harbinger of healthy hires and a sign of hope for those looking for work. The upbeat report follows encouraging reports last week on job growth and improvements in the service sector, which is one of the sectors of the economy hardest hit by the pandemic.
Swiss bank Credit Suisse has said it expects a loss of $ 4.7 billion from a default by a US hedge fund. Two senior executives leave the bank. Credit Suisse has also suspended a share buyback program and reduced its dividend. The bank’s U.S.-listed shares, which already fell sharply last week after the initial default announcement, rose 0.9% on Tuesday.
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