The Nasdaq has ended at a new closing high but the broad market closed slightly lower as investors rotated out of large-cap tech names into other sectors seen as benefiting from President Joe Biden’s proposed $US1.9 trillion stimulus bill.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq on Tuesday hit a record high for the fifth consecutive session on early gains in Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Google-parent Alphabet Inc, which later turned lower amid a shift in portfolio allocations.
The NYSE FANG+TM index, which includes Facebook Inc, Netflix Inc and Tesla Inc, rose to a record high.
With the number of US COVID-19 cases falling and expectations the stimulus package will be approved in Congress, investors are hard-pressed to find significant negatives, says Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.
“You’re not seeing money coming out of the market and going into cash,” James said. “You’re seeing money coming out of one sector and being rotated into another sector to maintain an overall long bias.”
Largely upbeat corporate earnings, along with monetary and fiscal support, have powered the major US stock indices to record highs. But analysts caution the new COVID variants and any glitches in vaccine rollouts could sour positive sentiment.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10.72 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 31,375.04, the S&P 500 lost 4.3 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 3,911.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 20.06 points, or 0.14 per cent, to 14,007.70.
The energy sector, among those that led the recent rally, slipped a bit, while communication services rose.
Data last week showing slower-than-expected jobs growth in the labour market underscored the need for more government aid to blunt the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden has said.
Democrats in the US Senate continue to try to find a way to include a minimum wage increase in a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill they aim to advance in the coming weeks, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday.
Toymaker Mattel Inc rose, while telephone equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc slipped before reporting earnings after the close.
Analysts forecast a fourth-quarter S&P earnings gain of about 2.5 per cent, a stark reversal from the 10.3 per cent annual decline seen at the beginning of the year, per Refinitiv.
Gucci lipstick maker Coty Inc tumbled as weak demand for makeup products wiped millions off its quarterly revenue.
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc fell after the videogame publisher posted a drop in quarterly adjusted sales and shied away from announcing any new big releases.
Bitcoin fast approached the $US50,000-mark as the afterglow of Elon Musk-led Tesla’s investment in the cryptocurrency had investors reckoning it may become a mainstream asset class for both corporations and money managers.
Cryptocurrency miner Riot Blockchain and Marathon Patent Group extended sharp gains for the second day, but Tesla’s shares dropped.