Wall Street pivots to value as Treasury yields rise
Wall Street began the last week of September and the quarter with investors backing value over growth on Monday as tech shares, hurt by rising Treasury yields, weighed on the broader market.
Of the three major U.S. stock indexes, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was the sole gainer, buoyed by economically sensitive smallcaps and transports. Declines in megacap tech and tech-adjacent shares dragged the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite index into negative territory.
“What we’re seeing is a change in the season, and it’s shifting to some of the more cyclical areas of the market,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut. “Today is an indication as to what you’re going to see going forward.”
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields forged higher, to the benefit of rate-sensitive financials [US/]. Rising crude prices pushed energy stocks to the head of the pack.
But rising yields hurt some market leaders that had benefited from low rates. Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Apple Inc slipped between 0.5% and 1.8%.
In Washington, negotiations over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling were heating up at the start of a week that could also include a vote on U.S. President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
On the economic front, new orders for durable goods waltzed past analyst expectations, gaining 1.8% in August. The value of total new orders has grown beyond pre-pandemic levels to a seven-year high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 144.36 points, or 0.41%, to 34,942.36, the S&P 500 lost 4.57 points, or 0.10%, to 4,450.91 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 68.29 points, or 0.45%, to 14,979.41.
Of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500, healthcare and tech suffered the largest percentage losses, while energy and financials took the lead.
While the S&P 500 value index has underperformed growth so far this year, that gap has narrowed in September as investors increasingly favor lower valuation stocks that stand to benefit most from economic revival.
The S&P 500 is on track to snap its seven-month winning streak, with the prospect of higher corporate tax rates and hints from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it could start to tighten its accommodative monetary policies in the months ahead.
Goldman Sachs strategists see potential corporate rate hikes as a headwind to its outlook for return-on-equity (ROE) on U.S. stocks in 2022, the broker said in a research note.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.59-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.69-to-1 ratio favored advancers.