Major Wall Street stock indexes ended mixed on Monday, with losses at tech and healthcare companies outpacing gains elsewhere in the market.
The S&P 500 fell 0.3% after spending much of the day essentially flat. The pullout ended a three-day winning streak for the benchmark, which last week recorded its first weekly gain in three weeks.
The high-tech Nasdaq composite fell 0.5%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed a gain of 0.2%. Smaller company stocks outperformed the market as a whole, pushing the Russell 2000 index up 1.5%.
Bond yields have generally increased. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.49% from 1.46% on Friday night. It was at 1.31% a week ago, as market nervousness prompted investors to move money into bonds, reducing their yield but increasing since Tuesday.
Banks made solid gains on the rise in the 10-year Treasury yield. The yield influences the interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, so when it rises, it allows lenders to charge higher rates. Bank of America gained 2.7%.
“The story now is higher bond yields and what areas of the [stock] market advantage, ”said Willie Delwiche, investment strategist at All Star Charts.
The S&P 500 lost 12.37 points to 4,443.11, the Nasdaq lost 77.73 points to 14,969.97 and the Dow gained 71.37 points to 34,869.37. The Russell 2000 gained 32.93 points to 2,281, a sign that investors are still confident about future economic growth.
Markets have had a turbulent month so far and the S&P 500 is set to lose 1.8% in September, which would mark the first monthly loss since January. Investors have tried to gauge how much room for growth the economy has amid waves of covid-19 slowing consumer spending and job growth, while inflation remains a concern.
The economic recovery started strong in 2021, but analysts and economists have tempered their forecasts for the rest of the year. In a survey released on Monday, the National Association for Business Economics found that its panel now expects full-year economic growth of 5.6%, down from a forecast for 6.7% growth in the previous survey in May. However, economists raised their economic growth forecast for 2022 to 3.5% from a previous forecast of 2.8%.
Consumer spending has been the main driver of the economic recovery and it has been partly held back by the increase in covid-19 cases due to the more contagious delta variant. Investors will get a glimpse of how this could continue to happen today when the Conference Board releases its Consumer Confidence Index for September.
Wall Street has faced an otherwise quiet period for corporate reporting as companies prepare to release their latest quarterly results in the coming weeks. The next round of corporate statements could give investors a better idea of the real impact of the supply chain and labor disruption on sales and profits.
Microsoft shares fell 1.7% and Apple fell 1.1%, as technology stocks helped push the S&P 500 down. The technology sector, which has a disproportionate weight in the index, fell 1% overall.
Healthcare stocks also weighed on the market. Moderna shares fell 5% and Abbott Laboratories lost 3.1%.
The benchmark US crude oil price rose 2% and supported gains in energy stocks. Exxon Mobil rose 3%.