By Ambar Warrick and Devik Jain
(Reuters) – The S&P and Dow indices fell from record highs on Monday as energy and other sectors sensitive to economic growth fell on concerns about rising COVID-19 cases.
Energy stocks, down 1.2%, suffered the brunt of sales after the crude oil slump, as a surge in coronavirus cases, particularly in China, sparked fears of new restrictions that could affect the economy. oil demand. [O/R]
Eight of the top 11 S&P sectors fell, while stocks such as consumer staples and finance led the gains.
Miners were also pressured by sharp declines and gold prices due to concerns about Chinese demand. The materials sector fell 0.3%, while Freeport-Mcmoran Inc, the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer, fell 1%. [GOL/] [MET/L]
In the United States, COVID-19 infections rose by at least 22,783 on Sunday to 35.94 million total cases, according to a Reuters tally.
“The concern is that we could be facing higher (interest) rates, with a possible slowdown caused by COVID-19, which is kind of a worst-case scenario,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut. .
Investors were expecting new catalysts to propel the market higher, after strong employment data sent the Dow Jones and the Dow Jones to record highs last week.
A meeting of Federal Reserve leaders in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this month, is also expected to shed more light on the central bank’s potential plan to cut its stimulus program, in the wake of rising inflation and growth. strength of the labor market.
The focus will also be on a bipartisan $ 1 trillion US infrastructure bill, with a vote possible Tuesday, after the details of the bill garnered support in the Senate over the weekend.
At 11:34 a.m. ET, the index was down 79.55 points, or 0.23%, to 35,128.96, the S&P 500 was down 5.31 points, or 0.12%, to 4,431.21, and it was up 17.41 points, or 0.12%, to 14,853.17.
A stellar earnings season has seen US stocks rise to all-time highs in the past two weeks, as multiple results that beat consensus from major companies bolstered faith in a post-COVID economic recovery this year.
As of Friday, analysts had expected second-quarter earnings growth of 93.1% for S&P 500 companies, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Of the 443 companies in the index that have reported earnings so far, 87.4% beat analysts’ expectations, the highest on record.
Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc gained 7.2% after commodities trader Cargill Inc and investment firm Continental Grain Co agreed to buy it for $ 4.53 billion at a time when meat prices soared due to the strong demand.
Tyson Foods Inc (NYSE 🙂 gained 7.8% after the meat processor raised its tax revenue forecast for 2021.
Issues in decline outnumbered advancers 1.64-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.02-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index posted 24 new 52-week highs and 1 new low, while the Nasdaq posted 62 new highs and 46 new lows.