NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street shares traded near breakeven on Friday as investors sold off tech stocks and turned into economically sensitive cyclical stocks in anticipation of growing the US economy on the demand pent up once the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control.
Industry led the rising sectors in the S&P 500, boosted by a 10.2% rise in Deere & Co and Caterpillars 5.3% to an all-time high. Finance, materials and energy, as well as industry, grew by more than 1%.
The S&P 1500 Airlines Index also climbed 3.8%, with a focus on post-pandemic travel.
Stay-at-home winners Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc, Google Alphabets and Netflix Inc fell 0.4% to 2.3% in a trend seen for most of the week. Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc also fell.
A battle continues between technology-driven growth stocks and cyclical companies, companies heavily affected by economic conditions, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strategist at Inverness Counsel in New York.
When the economy is booming, they roar. When the economy weakens, they weaken, Ghriskey said. The economy will roar, at least for a while. There is a huge pent-up demand, whether it’s just to travel or return to work.
As of 2:33 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had risen 16.28 points, or 0.05%, to 31,509.62, the S&P 500 lost 6.4 points, or 0.16%, to 3,907.57 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.02 points, or 0.01%, to 13,866.37.
Strong earnings, progress in vaccine rollouts and hopes for a $ 1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief program helped U.S. stock indexes reach record highs earlier in the week.
The Dow Jones hit a new intraday high, led by Caterpillar, after Deere raised its profit forecast for 2021. Deere said its profits more than doubled in the first quarter on increasing demand for farm machinery and equipment. construction.
The benchmark S&P 500 and the high-tech Nasdaq headed for their first weekly declines this month amid concerns about rising stock valuations, and rising inflation expectations raised fears of a short-term decline in equities.
Bank of America expects stocks to fall more than 10%, which is trading at more than 22 times 12-month futures earnings, the most expensive since the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.
What we have seen (this week) represents a market that is tired and may not do much. So we’re headed for some kind of pullback, but I don’t think there is any more, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
Meanwhile, data showed the US IHS Markits Flash Composite PMI, which tracks the manufacturing and service sectors, edged up to 58.8 in February.
Applied Materials Inc was up 5.6% and was among the top Nasdaq and S&P 500 stimulants after forecasting second quarter revenue above market expectations. Demand for its semiconductor manufacturing tools picked up during a global semiconductor shortage.
Rising issues outnumbered falling issues on the NYSE by a 2.02 to 1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, a 2.30 to 1 ratio favored the advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 45 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 198 new highs and seven new lows.
Reporting by Herbert Lash; additional reporting by Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; edited by Shounak Dasgupta and Jonathan Oatis
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