A busy day on Wall Street ended Tuesday with mixed results after a drop in bond yields hurt bank stock prices but benefited big tech companies.
The S&P 500 added 0.3% after briefly turning in the red in the early part of the session. The modest advance was enough to give the index a new all-time high of 4,141.59 points. Shares of tech companies and those that rely on consumer spending helped boost the indicator. The gains were tempered by a drop in the prices of the securities of banking and industrial companies.
Johnson & Johnson lost 1.3% after federal regulators in the United States recommended a pause in the use of its COVID-19 vaccine in order to investigate reports of a possible connection to the development of thrombi. Moderna, which also makes a COVID-19 vaccine, was up 7.4%.
Concerns about the possible loss of a vaccination option also weighed down on companies dependent on lifting pandemic-related restrictions, though losses eased towards the end of the day. American Airlines fell 1.5% and Delta Air Lines 1.1%.
The overall market has made mostly progress so far this month, reflecting moderate optimism among investors that the economy will strengthen and corporate profits improve as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines helps restrictions against businesses are lifted. A pause in the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not hamper such efforts, analysts say.
“The response today has been very mild and isolated,” said Scott Knapp, head of market strategy at CUNA Mutual Group. “The markets do not anticipate closings. Recovery could be delayed, but not a return to pandemic conditions ”.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 68.13 integers, or 0.2%, to 33,677.27. The Nasdaq gained 146.10 points, or 1.1%, and settled at 13,996.10. The differences between the Dow and the Nasdaq are mainly due to the fact that the Dow has more bank stocks and also includes Johnson & Johnson, while the Nasdaq has a strong technological presence.
Small business stocks also lost ground. The Russell 2000 indicator lost 4.86 units, or 0.2%, and closed at 2,228.92.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell from 1.67% to 1.62%.