October 26, 2021

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major U.S. stock indexes advanced on Tuesday, with the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 hitting intraday records, although gains were kept in check as Facebook shares fell in the wake of its quarterly earnings.

Facebook Inc shares, down 5.01%, were the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, after the company warned that Apple Inc’s new privacy changes would weigh on its digital business.

“There are enough headwinds that people are getting spooked,” said Ross Mayfield investment strategist at Baird in Louisville, Kentucky.

“There are idiosyncratic risks, there are regulatory risks for the big tech spectrum, there is just all sorts of negative sentiment around that space right now and if you look more broadly there are more places to go with your money.”

However, the benchmark S&P index scored a new high, lifted by names with big market capitalizations. Nvidia Corp was up 7.20% after reaching a record high; Amazon.com Inc rose 1.88%; and Apple added 0.52%.

Support also came from a 7.09% gain in United Parcel Service Inc and a 2.28% rise in General Electric Co on the heels of their quarterly results.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 63.74 points, or 0.18%, to 35,804.89; the S&P 500 gained 16.13 points, or 0.35%, at 4,582.61; and the Nasdaq Composite added 35.49 points, or 0.23%, at 15,262.19.

Earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to grow 35.6% year-on-year in the third quarter, with market participants gauging how companies are navigating supply-chain bottlenecks, labor shortages and inflationary pressures.

While nearly all 11 S&P sectors rose on the session, defensive plays such as utilities and real estate were among the best performers, indicating some caution in the market.

Microsoft Corp, Google parent Alphabet Inc and Twitter Inc are among the notable names scheduled to report earnings after the closing bell.

Data showed U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly rebounded in October as concerns about high inflation were offset by improving labor market prospects. A Commerce Department report showed sales of new single-family homes surged 14.0% in September.

Mayfield said with indexes at or near record levels, a run of good economic data could increase investor concerns the Federal Reserve may pull its timeline for a rate hike forward.

The central bank’s next policy announcement is expected on Nov. 3 after a two-day meeting.

Shares of Hasbro Inc climbed 3.56% after the toy maker posted an upbeat third-quarter profit even as it warned of a hit to holiday sales from supply chain issues.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 68 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 131 new highs and 66 new lows.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Richard Chang)

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