Tech Stocks Lift Nasdaq, Banks Weigh on S&P 500, Dow

By Reuters
October 13, 2021 Updated: October 13, 2021

The Nasdaq rose on Wednesday as technology stocks returned as market favorites amid concerns about rising inflation, while banking stocks slipped despite strong quarterly results from JPMorgan.

Technology and communication services were among the few gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors.

Mega-caps growth names including Facebook Inc., Inc., Google-parent Alphabet Microsoft Corp., and Tesla rose, while chipmakers added 0.5 percent after a three days of losses.

A Labor Department report showed consumer prices increased solidly in September and are set to rise further amid a surge in the costs of energy products, which would cast doubts on the Federal Reserve’s view that high inflation is transitory.

“Today’s CPI print may sway at least some members to place a higher weight on the inflation risk,” said Jai Malhi, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

“Both the Fed and the market are likely to accept that a tight labor market and the persistence of inflation all but confirms that easing off the accelerator is now the right thing to do.”

Focus is now on the minutes of the Fed’s September policy meeting, due later in the day, for further signs that the days of crisis-era policy were numbered.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s third-quarter earnings trumped expectations, helped by global dealmaking boom and release of more loan loss reserves in signs of an improving economy.

However, its shares fell 2.5 percent to weigh on the Dow and the S&P 500, after hitting a record high last week.

Its peers Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley will report results on Thursday, while Goldman Sachs will publish earnings on Friday. The wider banking index was down 2.2 percent.

BlackRock Inc. rose 3.2 percent after the world’s largest money manager beat quarterly profit estimates as an improving economy helped boost its assets under management, driving up fee income.

Analysts expect corporate America to report strong profit growth in the third quarter at a time when worries about supply chain problems and higher prices are affecting businesses emerging from the pandemic.

At 10:01 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 163.31 points, or 0.48 percent, at 34,215.03, the S&P 500 was down 7.03 points, or 0.16 percent, at 4,343.62, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 52.60 points, or 0.36 percent, at 14,518.53.

Delta Air Lines Inc. warned of a pre-tax loss for the fourth quarter due to a sharp rise in fuel prices, sending its shares down by 4.1 percent.

Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. gained 1.2 percent on a new $10 billion stock buyback plan.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.06-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.09-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded four new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 27 new highs and 24 new lows.

By Devik Jain