Where Main Street Meets Wall Street

Nasdaq pressured by rising yields; Tesla, Merck limit declines


A Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Merck up on COVID-19 pill, Tesla lifted by record deliveries
  • Fresh round of U.S.-China trade talks eyed
  • Indexes: Dow flat, S&P down 0.37%, Nasdaq falls 1.16%

Oct 4 (Reuters) – The Nasdaq index fell on Monday as most big technology stocks were pressured by an uptick in Treasury yields, while declines on the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones were countered by gains in shares of Tesla and Merck.

U.S. Treasury yields have been supported by recent data showing increased consumer spending, accelerated factory activity and elevated inflation growth, fuelling bets that the Federal Reserve could start tightening its accommodative monetary policy sooner than expected. [US/]

High-flying companies including Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Facebook Inc (FB.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) fell between 0.9% and 3.9%.

The S&P 500 technology (.SPLRCT) and communication services (.SPLRCL) sectors tumbled more than 1.5% each, leading declines among the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes.

“In the rising rate environment, historically you’ve been rewarded being in the economically sensitive value and cyclical stocks, relative to tech. That’s not to say tech will collapse, it’s just to say that the cyclicals should do better in coming months,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.

“Markets are really focused on Washington and the uncertainty of their being unable to come to an agreement on the infrastructure bill, social spending plan and raising the debt limit.”

Keeping declines on the S&P 500 (.SPX) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) at bay were shares of Merck & Co (MRK.N), which added 3.2%, building on gains from Friday after developing an experimental antiviral pill for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19. read more

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) rose 2.6% after it had delivered a record electric cars in the third quarter, beating Wall Street estimates on Saturday. read more

Wall Street’s main indexes were battered in September, hit by worries about the U.S. debt ceiling, the fate of a massive infrastructure spending bill and the meltdown of heavily indebted China Evergrande Group (3333.HK).

Markets also awaited U.S. President Joe Biden’s new plan on China trade strategy, with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai set for new talks with Beijing later in the day over its failure to keep promises made in a “Phase 1” trade deal struck with former President Donald Trump. read more

At 9:44 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was up 3.99 points, or 0.01%, at 34,330.45, the S&P 500 (.SPX) was down 16.02 points, or 0.37%, at 4,341.02 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was down 168.49 points, or 1.16%, at 14,398.21.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.15-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.02-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 31 new highs and 65 new lows.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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