Slumping technology stocks left the S&P 500 slightly lower on Wall Street Tuesday, even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 blue-chip companies marked another record high. Microsoft, Apple, and major chipmakers like Nvidia sank while banks and other sectors rose. Bond yields continued to climb. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.65%. Oil prices rose, which helped send energy stocks higher. Economic reports and company earnings get rolling again this week after the year-end holidays. The S&P 500 fell 3.02 points, or 0.1%, to 4,793.54. The Dow rose 214.59 points, or 0.6%, to 36,799.65. The Nasdaq fell 210.08 points, or 1.3%, to 15,622.72.
Banks were among the biggest gainers, with JPMorgan Chase up 3.8%. Industrial stocks also notched gains. Deere & Co. rose 6.1% and Caterpillar gained 5.4%, which led the Dow higher. Those gains were nearly outweighed by technology stocks, which were the biggest decliners in the S&P 500. Health care stocks also helped weigh down the index. Pfizer, which fell 4% on Monday, dropped another 3.7% despite COVID case numbers hitting record highs. Investors may be "envisioning a not-too-distant future where the pandemic is over and vaccines don't enjoy the high demand that they have now," writes Keith Speights at the Motley Fool.
Investors are anticipating the Labor Department’s jobs report for December, which will be released Friday. On Tuesday, the agency’s monthly Jobs Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that a record 4.5 million American workers quit their jobs in November, a sign of confidence and more evidence that the US job market is bouncing back strongly from last year’s coronavirus recession. “Markets are going to be trying to look through the year," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. “Right now, markets are cautiously confident.”
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