Tech Stocks Retreat With Megacap Earnings in Focus: Markets Wrap
A man looks over numbers on an electronic stock board in central Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Charles Pertwee/Bloomberg News)

Tech Stocks Retreat With Megacap Earnings in Focus: Markets Wrap

U.S. technology stocks fell as investors turned their attention to a batch of earnings from industry heavyweights that have helped drive the market to all-time highs.

The Nasdaq 100 dropped for the first time in three sessions, weighed down by declines in tech heavyweights including Tesla Inc. and Alphabet Inc. The S&P 500 closed little changed after swinging between gains and losses throughout the day. United Parcel Service Inc. soared to a record after beating Wall Street’s profit estimates.

Tesla ended a two-day streak of gains after its results failed to impress investors. 3M Co. was the biggest drag on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after it warned that higher costs for raw materials and transportation is a worsening threat. Google parent Alphabet climbed more than 4% postmarket, erasing its cash-session decline after profit and revenue exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Microsoft Corp. reversed a gain and dropped 3.5% after reporting revenue that missed the highest analysts’ estimates.

Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are set to release results later this week.

While the earnings season has been generally strong so far, investors may be waiting for more robust beats to fan the next move higher. Four out of five S&P 500 companies that have released results have either met or beaten expectations. On average, shares have gained less than 0.1% after the reports, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Earnings optimism already was largely embedded into expectations moving into the current earnings period, so investors are looking for substantially outsized positive results, without which stock price advances will be muted and, like today, could take a hit,” said Greg Bassuk, chief executive officer at AXS Investments.

Tech Stocks Retreat With Megacap Earnings in Focus: Markets Wrap

Meanwhile, U.S. data this week are expected to show growth accelerated to an annualized 6.8% in the first quarter. A Conference Board measure Tuesday showed consumer confidence reached the highest since February 2020 as Americans grew more upbeat about the economy and job market.

Such reports aren’t shifting the Federal Reserve’s highly accommodative stance, with the central bank expected to keep policy unchanged at this week’s meeting.

“Since the last Fed meeting, strong economic expectations have started to make their way into the data,” said Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments. “We’re seeing that reflected not only on the economic side but also in pretty impressive earnings reports on the whole.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid as investors weighed the scope for further gains. HSBC Holdings Plc rose after saying quarterly earnings more than doubled and returning to profit in Europe and the U.S.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index climbed for a seventh day as copper extended a rally on the Biden administration’s plans for a large infrastructure package. Oil climbed after OPEC+ projected a strong recovery beyond near-term demand destruction from India’s Covid-19 surge.

Tech Stocks Retreat With Megacap Earnings in Focus: Markets Wrap

Here are some key events to watch this week:

  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell holds a press conference Wednesday following the Fed meeting
  • Joe Biden makes his first address as president to a joint session of Congress Wednesday
  • U.S. GDP is forecast to show growth strengthened in the first quarter, bolstered by government stimulus Thursday
  • For live updates and commentary on the markets see the MLIV blog

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 was little changed as of 4:01 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.4%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was little changed

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%
  • The euro was little changed at $1.2089
  • The British pound was little changed at $1.3906
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.6% to 108.74 per dollar

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced six basis points to 1.62%
  • Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.25%
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to 0.77%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2.1% to $63 a barrel
  • Gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,776 an ounce

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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