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Stocks Close Near Session Lows as Nasdaq 100 Drops: Markets Wrap

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Rita Nazareth and Claire Ballentine
·3 min read
Stocks Close Near Session Lows as Nasdaq 100 Drops: Markets Wrap
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(Bloomberg) -- Stocks closed near Monday’s lows as giants Tesla Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. weighed on the Nasdaq 100. Traders also parsed economic data, with inflation remaining at the forefront of the investment debate. The dollar dropped, while Treasuries rose.

Tech and retail companies in the S&P 500 fell, while commodity and industrial shares gained. Pfizer Inc. climbed as the Biden administration will support its move to begin exporting U.S.-made doses of the coronavirus vaccine, while Moderna Inc. rallied after agreeing to provide as many as 500 million doses of its shot to the global program Covax. Estee Lauder Cos. sank as the cosmetics giant’s sales missed estimates.

A report Monday showed that growth at U.S. manufacturers cooled in April, while a gauge of prices paid for materials jumped to the highest since 2008. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic recovery is “making real progress,” but the gains have been uneven following a downturn that cut hard along lines of race and income. New York Fed President John Williams noted that current conditions are “not nearly enough” for a shift in the monetary policy stance.

Markets have been obsessed over whether higher inflation is coming. Faced with rising prices for everything from lumber to oil and computer chips, chief executive officers have cut costs and boosted prices for their products. The strategy appears to be working, with first-quarter income from S&P 500 companies jumping five times as fast as sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

“The earnings season, the economic recovery and the Covid trends -- that’s still going to be the near-term catalyst -- and looking for any hints of change in direction from the Fed,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Services.

Ignoring the adage “sell in May and go away” may reward stock investors in 2021, according to LPL Financial. The firm cited the S&P 500’s track record during the past decade in a blog post. In eight of those years, the gauge posted gains for the six months ended in October. Last year’s rally was 12%, the biggest since 2009, when a bull market was just getting started. The benchmark produced an average advance of 3.8% for all 10 years, beating a 1.7% average since 1950.

Here are some key events to watch this week:

U.S. trade balance, factory orders, durable goods are due TuesdayThe Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy decision is scheduled for TuesdayChicago Fed President Charles Evans gives a virtual speech at an event hosted by Bard College on Wednesday. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester gives a virtual speech to the Boston Economic ClubBank of England rate decision ThursdayThe April U.S. employment report is released on Friday

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% as of 4 p.m. New York timeThe Nasdaq 100 fell 0.4%The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7%The MSCI World index rose 0.2%

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2062The Japanese yen rose 0.2% to 109.10 per dollar

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 1.60%Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.20%

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.4% to $64 a barrelGold futures rose 1.4% to $1,793 an ounce

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