U.S. stocks traded mostly higher Thursday, led by technology shares, after a jump in bond yields in response to inflation data on Wednesday took the market down, but but the S&P 500 still looks on track for its first loss in six weeks.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq recovered partially from two days of falls as chipmakers led gains, but losses in Walt Disney due to slowing subscriber growth in its streaming video service weighed on the Dow.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 158.71 points or 0.44% to 35921.23
- The S&P 500 was up 2.56 points or 0.06% to 4649.27 after gaining for 18 of the past 22 trading days before this week’s slide.
- The Nasdaq Composite gained 81.58 points or 0.52% to 15704.28, after trading up for 12 of the past 14 trading days.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 240 points, or 0.7%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite slumped 1.7%.
What’s driving the market?
Stocks staged a modest recovery on Thursday after Wednesday’s tumble, sparked by a jump in Treasury yields in the wake of data showing annual inflation climbed 6.2%, a more-than-three-decade high. The data ignited fears the Federal Reserve may have to act faster and more aggressively to rein in inflation, with investors fleeing into gold, the dollar and cryptocurrencies.
“The US inflation data on Wednesday was a massive blow, there’s no doubt about it,” said Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA, at OANDA. “Combined with the jobs report on Friday and the employment cost index the week before, it paints a picture of an economy running hot and with widespread price pressures.”
However, tech names recovered some ground Thursday with Nvidia AMD Alphabet and Facebook gaining, with the Treasury market closed in observance of Veterans Day which also meant no economic data was published.
Major stock indexes remain near all-time highs after a third-quarter earnings season that saw companies preserve profit margins in the face of rising input costs. Rising inflation pressures are blamed in part on supply bottlenecks exacerbated by surging demand for goods following the pandemic-induced global economic shutdown.
A key question looms over consumers’ ability to keep spending in the face of rising prices for energy and food, said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt, in a phone interview.
“When we get to the week after Christmas and look back at the holiday season, the trends we saw will speak to what we can expect going forward for a big part of our economy,” Buchanan said.
A sharp fall for shares of Walt Disney Co. weighed on the Dow on Thursday. Shares of the entertainment conglomerate were down after it disappointed on theme park revenue and subscriber numbers for its Disney+ streaming service.
What companies are in focus?
- Tesla Inc. shares rose after Securities and Exchange Commission fillings on Wednesday afternoon showed CEO Elon Musk sold more than 4.5 million shares of the electric-vehicle maker for close to $5 billion.
- Shares of electric-truck maker Rivian Automotive Inc. jumped, building on a 29% jump Wednesday in its trading debut, which marked the largest initial public offering of 2021.
- Beyond Meat Inc. shares tumbled after a weak quarter and poor outlook from the plant-based burger maker.
- Lordstown Motors Corp. shares rallied after the electric-vehicle maker announced a $230 million deal to sell its plant to Foxconn.
- SoFi Technologies Inc. stock climbed after the financial-technology company’s better-than-expected earnings, strong member growth and product uptake numbers.
How are other assets trading?
- The ICE U.S. Dollar Index a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, rose 0.2% after hitting a 15-month high on Wednesday.
- The U.S. benchmark crude contract rose 0.6% to $81.86 a barrel. Gold futures climbed 0.9%, to $1,865 an ounce.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3%, while London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.7%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1% and China’s CSI 300 Index rose 1.6%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.6%.