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S&P, Nasdaq enjoy boost from big tech firms, Dow ends a hair lower

Stock MarketsOct 18, 2021 07:02PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the main trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell of the trading session in the Manhattan borough of New York City, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Devik Jain, Shreyashi Sanyal and Sinéad Carew

(Reuters) - The S&P and Nasdaq closed higher on Monday with the biggest boosts from the highest-profile technology and communications companies while investors eyed product news from Apple Inc and appeared optimistic about the third-quarter earnings season.

After a weak start following disappointing economic data from China, the S&P and Nasdaq gathered steam in late morning with gains in FAANG stocks - Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Apple, Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc's Google - as well as Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Apple shares (NASDAQ:AAPL) closed 1% higher after the company made a splash by unveiling new Mac laptop computers with more powerful processor chips.

Facebook shares, under pressure recently, closed up more than 3% with some positive reports out including its plans to create 10,000 jobs in Europe to help build the so-called metaverse - an online world.

With just a small minority of companies having reported quarterly results so far, investors were hopeful for some good news in the days and weeks ahead.

"You're going to get a heavier slate of earnings reports this week from a diverse set of industries," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, adding, "the path of least resistance remains higher going into earnings season for large-cap tech."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36.15 points, or 0.1%, to 35,258.61, the S&P 500 gained 15.09 points, or 0.34%, to 4,486.46 and the Nasdaq Composite added 124.47 points, or 0.84%, to 15,021.81.

Forecast-beating results from big U.S. lenders last week had 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 solid start likely helped investors shrug off uneasiness from earlier in the day after China recorded its slowest pace of economic growth in a year for the third quarter, hurt by power shortages and wobbles in the property sector. [MKTS/GLOB]

Other top contributors to the S&P's gains were Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc ahead of its earnings report this week, Amazon, which added 1% and chipmaker Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) Corp, which closed up 1.6%.

While technology, closing up 0.9%, was the S&P's top index point boost, consumer discretionary was the biggest percentage gainer, climbing 1.2% and communications services followed with a 0.7% gain.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Netflix, Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) and oilfield services company Baker Hughes Co are also due to report quarterly results this week.

But while mega tech gainers were strong enough to boost the S&P and the Nasdaq, optimism was not widespread with four industry sectors closing in the red.

Of the S&P's 11 major sectors, seven closed higher. The biggest decliners were utilities, down 0.97%, and healthcare, down 0.7%.

Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) Co closed down 3% after Barclays (LON:BARC) downgraded the media giant's stock to "equal weight" from "overweight."

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.24-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 65 new highs and 113 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 9.1 billion shares, compared with the 10.3 billion average for the last 20 trading days.

S&P, Nasdaq enjoy boost from big tech firms, Dow ends a hair lower
 

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Comments (19)
Fong SH
Fong SH Oct 18, 2021 9:39PM ET
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dow jones due for correction soon, probably month end 105 to 15% pull back
Thomas Colton
Thomas Colton Oct 18, 2021 5:09PM ET
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“Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.09-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.24-to-1 ratio favored decliners.” Yet here we are with markets moving higher. Make it make sense.
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Oct 18, 2021 1:21PM ET
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markets went higher due to markets going higher? drivel
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Oct 18, 2021 1:18PM ET
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Another miraculous "recovery" for the biggest investment JOKE in the world.
SOAHN SU
SOAHN SU Oct 18, 2021 1:07PM ET
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James Sun
James Sun Oct 18, 2021 12:16PM ET
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No fears ...
Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield Oct 18, 2021 11:58AM ET
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I don't be getting freaked out now we didn't spend all this money to advertise private investing just for you to get scared this money grab isn't over yet
Rajesh Kumar
Rajesh Kumar Oct 18, 2021 11:57AM ET
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China doesn't matter anymore. Even if Chinese economy goes into dust, it will have no effect on US stocks.
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Oct 18, 2021 11:57AM ET
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It's already true! Chiang's markets are down over 25% this year and we're fine.
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Oct 18, 2021 11:57AM ET
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*China's
Nitesh Kumar
Nitesh Kumar Oct 18, 2021 11:52AM ET
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Nothing to worry... The market is not going to stop from here.... Keep investing... Market is Bullish..
S S Shet
pingo_0070 Oct 18, 2021 11:36AM ET
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by the time this news heading was typed ... Market again became green .
Tiberius Augustus
Tiberius Augustus Oct 18, 2021 11:31AM ET
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Market is positive now
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Oct 18, 2021 11:31AM ET
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They should relocate the US stock market to Hollywood, where everything is a fairy tale
Cali Cartel
Cali Cartel Oct 18, 2021 10:25AM ET
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Inflation fears, taper fears, inflation worries. Taper worries
Rajesh Kumar
Rajesh Kumar Oct 18, 2021 10:25AM ET
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Nothing to worry. Everything is hunky dorky.
Jamie An
Jamie An Oct 18, 2021 9:39AM ET
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INFLATION everywhere, and everything! Only FR Powell doesn't know it. Raise key interest Right Now!
ben sc
ben sc Oct 18, 2021 9:39AM ET
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can't finance trillions more at higher rates. they cannot raise rates until the issue more debt. fed has said as much, we will have to live with inflation for the next decade. good times are over.
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Oct 18, 2021 9:36AM ET
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Why are there still "worries" about inflation? It's a given! Many countries have highest inflation rate in 20+ years. Have a look at your utilities bill and shopping costs
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Oct 18, 2021 9:22AM ET
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Reuters is working for the rich to leech the poor mom n pop traders with # articles
James Gomez
James Gomez Oct 18, 2021 8:44AM ET
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Yeah....And then tomorrow when it's green you'll headline it as "Markets are a go as Inflation seemed to hits its peak and Covid is old news" lol
Ricky Singh
Ricky Singh Oct 18, 2021 8:38AM ET
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One day everything looks amazing and next day inflation and next day covid under control and then next day Covid issues are getting serious … Manipulative articles .. Manipultaive market .. Feds ..
Rob Fordham
Rob Fordham Oct 18, 2021 8:28AM ET
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The market is like a skiddish cat
Fernando Lazarini
Fernando Lazarini Oct 18, 2021 8:20AM ET
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In: inflation worries Out: covid worries
 
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