Nasdaq Composite on Track for First Record Since February
By Caitlin Ostroff and Alexander Osipovich
The Nasdaq Composite climbed toward a record Monday as investors
looked ahead to a busy week of corporate earnings reports,
including from some of the biggest technology companies.
The tech-heavy index gained 0.8% in afternoon trading, putting
it on track for its first closing high since February.
The S&P 500 ticked up 0.2%, also on pace for a fresh record,
while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped less than 0.1%. All
three indexes posted modest declines last week.
More than one-third of the companies in the S&P 500 are
reporting quarterly results this week. Investors will be watching
to see whether the earnings justify rich valuations for some
companies, especially in tech.
Tesla, which has been one of investors' most favored stocks, is
slated to report quarterly earnings Monday after markets close.
Apple and Facebook are scheduled to report Wednesday, following by
Amazon.com on Thursday.
"Earnings didn't really matter over the last couple of quarters
because investors were focusing on the coronavirus," said Gregory
Perdon, co-chief investment officer at private bank Arbuthnot
Latham. "They'll start to look under the bonnet more than they
Other companies scheduled to report this week include Boeing,
Exxon Mobil, Ford Motor and Mastercard.
Stocks have been jittery in recent days after flare-ups of
Covid-19 cases in India and Japan triggered concerns about the pace
of the global economic recovery. Money managers' risk appetite also
was jolted by worry that the Biden administration may boost
The Federal Reserve's key interest-rate-setting committee is set
to hold its monthly policy meeting this week. Investors will be on
alert for any change in tone and outlook from the Fed following a
spate of strong U.S. economic data. Loose monetary policy from the
U.S. central bank has underpinned the stock market's rally, and any
sign of a shift toward a more inflation-fighting posture could
spook the markets.
"The glaring risk is that the market loses confidence in the
Fed's handling of inflation," said Eric Mintz, co-portfolio manager
at Eagle Asset Management. "If the market thinks the Fed is behind
the eight ball, that could derail things."
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell to 1.567%, from 1.590%
Friday. Yields drop as prices gain.
Despite progress on vaccinations, the pandemic remains another
risk for investors. India has experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases
in recent weeks after loosening restrictions. Highly contagious
variants that are now spreading around the globe are potentially
serving as an accelerant. The outbreak threatens to extend the
pandemic itself, driving world-wide numbers to new highs.
"This is a clear setback and adds significant uncertainty," said
Hugh Gimber, a strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. "It is a
reminder that investors, throughout the course of this year, are
going to be dealing with this huge risk of the resurgence of
Futures on Brent crude, the international benchmark in energy
markets, slid 1.4% to $65.21 a barrel as the Covid-19 crisis in
India threatened to sap demand for energy.
In corporate news, Albertsons shares tumbled 5.5% after the
supermarket chain reported a quarterly loss and said it expects
sales to slow this year from 2020, when coronavirus lockdowns
prompted heavy demand for food from grocers.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin jumped more than 8% over the past
24 hours to $54,155, according to CoinDesk. The digital currency
has rebounded since falling below $50,000 late last week, though it
is still down more than 15% from the all-time high it reached
earlier this month.
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was up 0.3%. In
Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.4%, while the Shanghai Composite
Index contracted almost 1%.
Write to Caitlin Ostroff at firstname.lastname@example.org and
Alexander Osipovich at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 26, 2021 14:24 ET (18:24 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.