S&P 500 edges up to touch record for fourth day

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Wall Street was little changed on Tuesday, with the Dow easing but the S&P 500 inching up to hit a record high for a fourth consecutive session, buoyed by more strong U.S. economic data.

FILE PHOTO: A U.S flag is seen on the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 6, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

U.S. job openings rose in February to a two-year high while hiring picked up. The data came on the heels of Friday’s strong payrolls report and a report on Monday showing activity in the service sector climbed to a record high in March.

The International Monetary Fund raised its global growth forecast to 6% this year from 5.5%, a rate not seen since the 1970s.

Gains on Wall Street were muted, with the Dow slightly lower a day after a rally sent it and the S&P 500 to record highs. Investors were assessing the staying power of gains in economically sensitive sectors such as industrials and materials that have been leading the charge higher.

Shares of many economically sensitive companies are classified as value stocks. But growth, which includes many stocks in the technology and communication services sectors, has shown signs of life.

“Anytime you kind of go into a paradigm shift or a regime change – value to growth, higher rates – it is never going to be in a straight line – and days like this are always a good reminder of that,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky.

“There could definitely be some questioning of it, particularly for people who maybe played along with the value rotation and capitalized on the economic reopening projections but aren’t as comfortable holding those positions.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.57 points, or 0.2%, to 33,458.62, the S&P 500 gained 0.88 points, or 0.02%, to 4,078.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.27 points, or 0.18%, to 13,730.86.

Large U.S. fiscal and monetary stimulus measures and a swift rollout of vaccines have pushed the S&P 500 and Dow to record levels, with the CBOE volatility index retreating to pre-pandemic lows.

Still, some investors remain worried about the possibility of rising inflation and proposals for higher taxes. In addition, other countries continue to have difficulty containing the coronavirus. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday the country is facing a very serious third wave.

Snap Inc jumped 4.04% after Atlantic Equities upgraded its rating on the photo-messaging app owner’s shares to “overweight” from “neutral”.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd added 4.68% as it said it would begin sailing outside the United States from the Caribbean and Greek Isles in July, restarting trips after a year-long hiatus brought on by the pandemic.

Illumina Inc gained 8.52% after the gene-sequencing company set current-quarter revenue target ahead of analysts’ expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.70-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.12-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 65 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 121 new highs and 19 new lows.

Source: Read Full Article