A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Stocks End Mixed as Apple Boosts Tech; Bonds Fall: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks closed mixed, with Apple Inc. leading a late afternoon rally in tech shares that helped offset a drop in industrials sparked by weak production data. The dollar registered its biggest advance in more than a week and Treasuries fell.

“You might be having a little bit of buy on the dip activity,” said Matt Schreiber, president and chief investment strategist at WBI Investments. “If you’re actually following the fundamentals, you’d be putting money to work in the sectors where companies are printing good earnings and revenue.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined for a third day as U.S. manufacturing expanded at its slowest pace since July. Tech companies including Apple -- which reports earnings after the close -- bucked the downward trend, pushing the Nasdaq higher. Ten-year Treasury yields gained but remained below 3 percent as the greenback posted its ninth gain in 11 days, with that strength weighing on most commodities: Oil retreated and gold declined to its lowest price since December.

Sterling slumped after U.K. manufacturing slowed more than predicted. That spurred the FTSE, one of the few European equity gauges trading, to rise a fourth day. Broader European benchmarks were flat, as businesses warned of market uncertainty following the Trump administration’s decision to delay U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.

Markets were shut for holidays in countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

A big focus this week is likely to be central bank policy and economic data. Investors will watch the Federal Reserve meeting closely for any signals that policy makers will raise interest rates another three times this year.

“There is a tug-of-war in the market as to whether or not the economy is gaining strength, or whether or not it continues to be moderate, and therefore whether or not the economy can withstand three or even four rate hikes, especially if you are seeing a moderation of economic activity in Europe,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial Inc., said by phone.

Stocks End Mixed as Apple Boosts Tech; Bonds Fall: Markets Wrap

With the dollar ticking higher, foreign-exchange traders are also asking whether the U.S. currency’s bout of strength has legs or will fade as sellers emerge at key technical levels. The Australian dollar declined after the central bank maintained its policy stance amid below-target inflation and constrained household spending.

Terminal users can read more in our markets live blog.

These are some key events to watch this week:

  • The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday. The rates decision is Wednesday.
  • The European Commission presents its spring economic forecasts, which include projections for growth, inflation, debt and deficit.
  • Payroll gains in the U.S. probably picked up in April, with the unemployment rate forecast to drop to 4 percent, according to surveys of economists.
  • Earnings season continues, with Apple Inc. headlining. Other high profile results include Pfizer Inc., HSBC Holdings Inc. and Tesla Inc.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index rose 0.3 percent to 2,654.79 as of 4:03 p.m. New York time.
  • The Nasdaq 100 Index rose 1.2 percent to 6,681.96; the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.3 percent to 24,099.05.
  • The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose 0.2 percent to the highest in almost three months.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index decreased 0.5 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index increased 0.6 percent to the highest in almost 16 weeks.
  • The euro declined 0.7 percent to $1.1993, touching the weakest in almost 16 weeks.
  • The British pound fell 1.1 percent to $1.3621.
  • The Japanese yen decreased 0.5 percent to 109.88 per dollar, touching the weakest in more than 12 weeks.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased two basis point to 2.97 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 1.40 percent, its sixth straight decline.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.7 percent to $67.43 a barrel.
  • Gold dropped 0.8 percent to $1,305 an ounce, touching the weakest in four months.
  • LME copper fell 0.9 percent to $6,716.25 a metric ton.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.