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Tech lifts S&P 500, Nasdaq amid inflation, China growth worries

U.S. stocks rose on Monday on gains in heavyweight technology companies, although sentiment re-mained fragile due to slowing economic growth in China and concerns of elevated inflation due to a relentless surge in oil prices.


Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors rose, led by con-sumer discretionary and followed by energy, which tracked Brent crude oil to its highest since October 2018.


Apple Inc, Google-parent Alphabet, Amazon.com Inc, Tesla Inc and Facebook Inc, added between 0.3% and 3% to provide the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.


The iPhone maker is expected to unveil new Mac lap-top computers with more powerful processor chips at an event later in the day.


However, the global sentiment was dampened by Chi-na recording its slowest pace of economic growth in a year in the third quarter, hurt by power shortages and wobbles in the property sector. [MKTS/GLOB]


“There is some weak data out of China, which is con-cerning on a global basis, and then market participants came into this earnings with a very pessimistic view but banks dramatically exceeded expectations,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital Llc in New York.


In the days ahead, investors will keep a close eye on how Corporate America mitigates the impact on earnings from supply chain disruptions, labor shortages and higher costs, especially in the wake of rising oil prices.


Forecast-beating results from big U.S. lenders last week set a positive tone for third-quarter earnings season, with analysts expecting S&P 500 earnings to show a 32% rise from a year ago, according to Refinitiv data.


“The wall of earnings over the next two weeks will be key as to the market’s next move; a continuation of the positive commentary should help keep the rally well-sup-ported,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.


“Judging by the figures so far it seems like earnings sea-son will be the catalyst for further gains that eluded inves-tors throughout September and early October.”


Johnson & Johnson, insurer Travelers, Netflix Inc, Veri-zon Communications, oilfield services cos Baker Hughes Co, Schlumberger NV, Tesla Inc and Intel Corp are some of the companies set to report quarterly results this week.


At 12:16 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.94 points, or 0.01%, at 35,296.70, the S&P 500 was up 11.08 points, or 0.25%, at 4,482.45 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 67.77 points, or 0.45%, at 14,965.11.


Walt Disney slipped 2.9% after Barclays downgrad-ed the media giant’s stock to “equal weight” from “over-weight”.


Dynavax Technologies rose 2.6% after French biotech company Valneva SE reported positive results from its late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate VLA2001, us-ing company’s CpG 1018 adjuvant.

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