Wall Street Supported by Tech; Tesla Extends Losses

By Reuters
November 15, 2021 Updated: November 15, 2021

U.S. stock indexes were buoyed by technology stocks on Monday as concerns over rising inflation saw investors shift to economically resilient sectors ahead of major retail earnings and data this week.

The S&P technology and communication services sectors were the best performers in early trade, adding 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, while Meta Platforms Inc. led gains among FAANG stocks with a 3.2 percent rise.

The three major Wall Street indexes had fallen between 0.3 percent and 0.7 percent last week on concerns over high inflation and weakening consumer sentiment. Investors had begun pivoting into growth sectors, mainly technology, towards the end of the week.

“(What) you’re seeing with the value-growth trade is a term that you use in football—happy feet. Investors are ready to sort of abandon one and switch into the other when they get some kind of news on inflation,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Electric carmaker Tesla Inc. lagged behind its tech peers, dropping 2.9 percent after chief Elon Musk got into a spat with Bernie Sanders as the U.S. senator demanded the wealthy pay their “fair share” of taxes.

Tesla’s declines follow a steep 15.4 percent drop last week after Musk offloaded a combined $6.9 billion worth of shares in the electric-car maker.

Focus this week will be on earnings reports from several major retailers including Walmart Inc., Target Corp., Home Depot Inc., and Macy’s Inc. Their results will round off an upbeat third-quarter earnings season, which pushed Wall Street to new highs.

Retail sales data for October is also due on Tuesday, and is expected to show the impact of inflation on consumer spending.

“Inflation is probably going to end up helping (retailers) somewhat because some of these big-box companies are able to … raise prices and maintain pretty close to their margin levels,” Dakota Wealth’s Pavlik added.

Rising inflation expectations pushed up Treasury yields, which benefited major bank stocks. The S&P financial sector added 0.2 percent.

At 09:56 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 94.58 points, or 0.26 percent, at 36,194.89 and the S&P 500 was up 12.80 points, or 0.27 percent, at 4,695.65. The Nasdaq Composite was up 47.24 points, or 0.30 percent, at 15,908.20.

Boeing was the top boost to the Dow Jones, rising 4.0 percent after Emirates announced an order for two 777 Freighters and as Saudi Arabian Airlines was in talks with the planemaker for a wide-body jet order.

The S&P materials sector lagged its peers with a 0.7 percent dip, as signs of weakness in China’s property sector dented major metal miners. The sector is a key driver of global metal demand.

Dollar Tree Inc. added 11.7 percent after activist investor Mantle Ridge LP revealed a 5.7 percent stake in the discount retailer.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.31-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.21-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 26 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 90 new highs and 35 new lows.

By Ambar Warrick and Devik Jain