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S&P 500 Stutters After Hitting Fresh Record High

Stock MarketsApr 12, 2021 03:27PM ET
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By Yasin Ebrahim – The S&P 500 retreated from a fresh record high Monday, as falling technology stocks offset a rise in financials and consumer discretionary ahead of the start of quarterly earnings season this week.

The S&P 500 fell 0.12%, after hitting a record high of 4,130.9, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.25%, or 86 points, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.44%.

Consumer discretionary and financials supported the broader market's move to record highs, with the latter coming under the spotlight as major banks report quarterly earnings this week.

Major Wall Street banks reporting include JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

Wall Street's outlook on quarterly earnings appears bullish, with cyclicals backed to show strong quarterly results.

"We anticipate S&P 500 Index earnings per share will grow by more than 30% this year with cyclical sectors such as industrials, consumer discretionary, materials, and financials leading the way," Wells Fargo said.

Energy stocks slipped on a retreat oil prices from session highs as investors weighed up the ongoing progress on vaccinations against ongoing Covid-19 restrictions that threaten energy demand.  

Technology started the week on the backfoot stifled by weakness in chip stocks and mixed trading among the Fab 5.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) were in the red, while (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was higher.

Microsoft said it will buy speech-recognition firm Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN) for $19.7 billion in a bid to boost its foray into healthcare.

"The Nuance deal is a strategic no brainer in our opinion for MSFT and fits like a glove into its healthcare endeavors at a time in which hospitals and doctors are embracing next generation AI capabilities from thought leaders such as Nuance," Wedbush said in a note.

In industrials, Boeing (NYSE:BA) was down 1% just days after the company urged 16 airline customers to ground its 737 Max jets, citing electrical issues. The issues, however, are not expected to cause major disruptions.

"Changing the equipment could take hours or days to fix, a modest disruption," Jefferies (NYSE:JEF) analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu said in a note Friday.

In other news, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) jumped more than 3% after receiving an upgrade from Canaccord, citing a bullish outlook for the company's battery storage business.

Canaccord upgraded Tesla to buy from hold, and lifted its price on the company to $1,071 from $419 per share.  

S&P 500 Stutters After Hitting Fresh Record High

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