Tech Updates

Dow halts 4-session skid, but Nasdaq slumps as technology stocks stumble

 

The Dow industrials on Monday ended a string of daily losses at four, but the Nasdaq Composite faltered, putting pressure on the broader market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.07%  rose 14.79 points, or less than 0.1%, at 21,409.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.29%  shed 18.10 points, or 0.2%, to 6,251 as Apple Inc. AAPL, -0.31%  dropped 0.3%, and Facebook Inc.FB, -0.95%  and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, -1.42%  dropped about 1% each.

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.03% finished up 0.77 points, or less than 0.1%, to 2,439.07, with so-called defensive sectors, such as utilities and telecoms, leading gains. The technology sector, which was trading up 0.7% in early trade, reversed course to end down 0.6%.

For the first half of 2017, the benchmark S&P 500 is on track to advance about 9%, with some analysts suggesting that the second half will likely be positive as well.

“When the 500’s first-half price gain was between 7% and 12%…the market went on to record an average price rise of 5.1% during the second half and posted a positive performance an above-average 87% of the time,” wrote Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, a market research firm.

Stovall’s calculations would put the S&P 500 at 2,565 by the end of 2017.

“While this forward six-month level for the S&P 500 approximates our 12-month target, based on current EPS and inflation projections, history implies that we may be underestimating the market’s rest-of-year potential,” Stovall said.

Volatile moves in crude-oil prices CLQ7, +0.55%  early in the session also contributed to dampening appetite for stocks.

Weaker-than-expected durable-goods orders may also have limited gains for equities. Both the dollar and Treasury yields weakened after the release of the report. Durable-goods orders slipped 1.1% last month following a similar drop in April, disappointing economists who expected a smaller decline.

“After vast improvement at the start of the year, manufacturers have recorded fewer than expected durable-goods orders for the second consecutive month,” said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Fixed Income, in a note. “Short-lived optimism, no doubt, from pro-growth policies ushered in by the Trump administration have been replaced by a more lackluster reality of a little improved domestic growth and consumption profile.”

Read: Want to know where the stock market’s headed over next 6 months? Don’t ask OPEC

Stock movers: Facebook FB, -0.95%  declined 1% after first gaining on news that the social-networking giant is talking to Hollywood studios and agencies about producing TV-quality shows, according to people familiar with the talks.

U.S.-listed shares of Nestlé SA NSRGY, +3.94%  jumped 3.9% following news that billionaire activist investor Daniel Loeb’s Third Point LLC hedge fund has taken a $3.5 billion stake in the consumer-products giant.

Arconic Inc. ARNC, -5.99%  shares sank 6%, topping the losers on the S&P 500. The company said it would halt sales of one type of aluminum cladding for use in high-rise buildings after at least 79 people died in a fire at the Grenfell Tower in London. The material was suspected to have partly contributed to the spread of the inferno.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. HTZ, +13.52%  surged 14% on a Bloomberg News report that the rental car company will be leasing a fleet of its cars to Apple to test the iPhone maker’s self-driving technology.

Shares of Yum Brands Inc. YUM, -0.11%  closed 0.1% lower, erasing gains from news of Australian company Collins Foods Ltd. CKF, -0.46%  buying 28 KFC restaurants from the fast food-chain operator.

Economic news and Fed speakers: The Chicago Fed national activity index fell to negative 0.26 in May from 0.57 in April.

See: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar.

A quarterly mortgage sentiment survey from Fannie Mae showed U.S. lenders are preparing for tougher times ahead and planning to relax lending standards, according to Reuters.

In central-bank news, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said at a speech in Australia that gradual hikes in interest rates are needed to avoid overheating the U.S. economy. Separately in Salzburg, Austria, Fed Gov. Jerome Powell said he sees room to ease some banking rules in the U.S.

Other markets: The dollar DXY, -0.07% rose 0.2% against peers while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.13%. Meanwhile gold GCQ7, +0.33%  stumbled 1%.

Asian stock markets closed higher across the board, serving as a tailwind for European stocks.

 

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