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Wall Street ends mixed as Dow picks up big tech slack

Equities were held back by a jump in Treasury yields as well as a grim milestone of 500,000 coronavirus deaths in the US

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4:15pm: S&P clinches sixth straight losing day

The DJIA lost ground over the course of the afternoon but managed to eke out a positive finish despite an early 200-point deficit. The blue-chip index closed up 27 points, less than 0.1%, at 31,522.

Meanwhile, big tech losses pulled the Nasdaq 341 points lower, a 2.5% loss, to 13,533, and the S&P 500 declined 30 points, 0.8%, to 3,877.

Among the biggest fallers was Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), which lost more than 8% to $714.50.

The Dow was buoyed by blue chips like The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), which saw shares improve more than 4% to $191.87.

12:25pm: Dow manages to reverse rough start

The Dow climbed out of an early 200-point hole to land 43 points up, a gain of 0.1%, at 31,538 at midday. The Nasdaq slid 249 points, 1.8%, to 13,626, and the S&P 500 dropped 22 points, 0.6%, to 3,885.

If those trends hold, Monday would be the fifth losing day for the S&P 500 in a row. 

Big tech also struggled, shackling the Nasdaq. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) all fell nearly 2% or more.

Tesla inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) continued its backslide, giving up more than 5% to $741.25 on Monday after falling 4% last week, per CNBC. 

Another high-interest laggard has been Bitcoin, which tumbled more than 7% to $52,808.02 after crossing $58,000 over the weekend.

10am: Proactive North America headlines:

GR Silver Mining Ltd (CVE:GRSL) (FRA:GPE) (OTCQB:GRSLF)  announces first-ever ground geophysical program on San Marcial project in Sinaloa, Mexico

XPhyto Therapeutics Corp (CSE:XPHY) (OTCQB:XPHYF) (FRA:4XT) eyeing Europe sales launch of its coronavirus RT-PCR test in April this year

Nano One Materials Corp (CVE:NNO) (OTCPINK:NOMF) (FRA:LBMB) says technology performing well in solid-state battery testing with University of Michigan

Ximen Mining Corp (CVE:XIM) (OTCQB:XXMMF) reports further promising exploration results from Providence project in British Columbia

CytoDyn Inc (OTCQB:CYDY) says data from its Phase 2b/3 Vyrologix coronavirus trial will be made public pending regulatory talks

Empress Royalty Corp (CVE:EMPR) (OTCQB:EMPYF) adds new production royalty on Manica gold project in Mozambique

GoviEx Uranium Inc (CVE:GXU) (OTCQB:GVXXF) (FRA:7GU) bolsters board with Salma Seetaroo and Eric Krafft as Lechtzier and Hanson retire

Elys Game Technology Corp (NASDAQ:ELYS) (NEO:ELYS) (FRA:3UW) extends strategic partnership with Sportradar ahead of US launch of its sports betting platform

KushCo Holdings Inc (OTCQX:KSHB) Inc moves ahead with $40M registered direct offering to pay down debt, advance other business purposes

Gevo Inc (NASDAQ:GEVO) (FRA:ZGV3) and Scandinavian Airlines amend sales deal to up sustainable aviation fuel purchase minimum

9:43am: Wall Street starts on back foot

Wall Street’s main stock market indices began the week on the back foot as market sentiment appeared to be on the turn.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.58% at 31,310, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.75% to 3,877 and the Nasdaq fell 1.28% to 13,688.

US equities have been held down by a jump in yields for 10-year Treasury bonds, which are currently at a one-year high, as well as a mixed set of coronavirus statistics which showed US deaths from the virus had surpassed 500,000 despite a sharp fall in new infections.

Meanwhile, shares in Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) descended 1.6% to US$213.85 in early deals following the grounding of a number of its 777 aircraft after one of the planes suffered an engine malfunction that forced it to make an emergency landing in Denver over the weekend.

7:50am: Wall Street to open in the red

The main indices on Wall Street look set to open with a decidedly reddish hue this afternoon, following the off-colour tone set by the global markets.

Spread betting quotes indicate the Dow Jones Industrial Average will open 181 points weaker at 31,313 and the S&P 500 will surrender 19 points at 3,878. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 is also tipped to open 186 points lower at 13,395.

There has been some mixed news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) front, with the number of new US cases reported yesterday 14% lower than a week earlier at 56,000.

“The rate of decline in confirmed cases appears to have slowed sharply in recent days, but this is likely a catch-up from last week, when severe weather depressed testing activity and, hence, the number of reported cases. Test activity has not yet returned to normal but the rate of fall has slowed; we expect a rebound over the course of this week,” suggested Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

“The underlying trend in new cases probably is still falling by about 20-to-25% per week, and we see no signs yet that the spread of the more infectious B117 variant is slowing the rate of decline, even in Florida, where it appears to be most prevalent,” Shepherdson said, adding the caveat that “it is too soon to say that B117 won’t be a problem”.

The US macroeconomic cupboard is not entirely bare today but it has the equivalent of that minestrone you’d forgotten you still had, namely the leading indicators for January.

“The US leading index is expected to rise by one tick. That’s better than falling by one tick, but I don’t think it’s enough to make anyone change their mind about the US economy,” was the pithy assessment of Marshall Gittler at BDSwiss.

Four things to watch for on Monday:

  • Companies featuring in today’s earnings diary include software group Cadence Design Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CDNS), cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW) and waste collection specialist Republic Services Inc (NYSE:RSG)
  • Shares in Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) are likely to be in focus after the aircraft maker saw one of its 777 aircraft suffer an engine failure over the weekend that sent debris raining down over the city of Denver, Colorado, prompting the grounding of over 100 aircraft
  • On the macro front, investors may be interested in the latest Dallas Fed manufacturing index for February, as well as the Chicago Fed national activity index for January
  • Bitcoin is also making headlines again after its total market cap briefly surpassed US$1 trillion overnight

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