Stock Market Today: Tech Rallies, Nasdaq Just Shy of New Highs
Investors brushed past inflation and interest-rate fears Thursday to drive technology and other growth shares higher.
The Nasdaq Composite pressed higher Thursday, to within just a few points of a fresh closing record, flipping the script on how the technology-heavy index has acted for much of 2021.
The Federal Reserve yesterday revealed higher expectations for inflation and signaled that rising interest rates might be here sooner than previously expected. Both of these factors were blamed for the Nasdaq's underperformance earlier this year, but today, the composite greatly outperformed its blue-chip index peers.
Robust gains in tech and tech-esque stocks such as Nvidia (NVDA, +4.8%), Amazon.com (AMZN, +2.2%) and Tesla (TSLA, +1.9%) powered a 0.9% advance in the Nasdaq to 14,161, just shy of its previous high of 14,174.
"Based on our ongoing correlation studies between [interest] rates and the equity markets/sectors, we believe that tech may continue to lead on a relative basis over the short-run," says Dan Wantrobski, technical strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. "It is not yet confirmed whether this tech outperformance will itself prove 'transitory,' or if a longer-term theme is emerging here."
The S&P 500 (off marginally to 4,221) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (-0.6% to 33,823) were more subdued, hobbled in part by a surprise increase in weekly unemployment filings; last week's 412,000 claims were the most filed since mid-May.
Also Thursday, Congress passed legislation making Juneteenth, or June 19, the 12th federal holiday, and President Joe Biden signed it into law. It will go into effect immediately, with federal employees getting a paid day off Friday, June 18 (Juneteenth falls on Saturday this year). The stock and bond markets will remain open tomorrow, though they're widely expected to observe the holiday in the future.
Other action in the stock market today:
- The small-cap Russell 2000 declined for the fourth consecutive session, slumping 1.2% to 2,287.
- Tenet Healthcare (THC, +2.8%) popped today on some M&A activity. The Texas-based healthcare services provider said it is selling five hospitals and related physician operations in Florida's Miami-Dade and Southern Broward counties to privately owned Steward Health Care for $1.1 billion.
- Lennar (LEN, +3.6%) was another notable mover today. The housing stock got a lift after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenues in its fiscal second quarter, while homebuilding gross margin also came in above analysts' consensus estimate.
- U.S. crude oil futures fell 1.5% to end at $71.04 per barrel after the Fed's relatively hawkish tone on Wednesday (projecting higher interest rates in 2023) boosted the U.S. dollar.
- A rising greenback weighed on gold futures, too, with the malleable metal sliding 4.7% to settle at $1,774.80 an ounce.
- The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) settled 2.2% lower to 17.75.
- Bitcoin prices declined 2.4% to $37,765.72. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
Billionaires Are Unloading These 25 Stocks
We keep tabs on Wall Street's top minds and what opportunities they're eyeing throughout the year. That's because you can gain an edge by tapping into the deep knowledge of analysts who closely monitor the stocks in their coverage universe, and by tracking the market moves of large institutional managers and stock pickers (think Warren Buffett) that have far greater research resources than your average investor.
However, while we mostly focus on the purchasing records of Wall Street's "smart money" – such as these 30 stock picks of the billionaire set – it also pays to examine what they're selling.
Today, we've put the spotlight on 25 stocks that billionaires have sold in the most recent quarter.
But we suggest you read closely.
Yes, in some cases, billionaires and other institutional managers have unloaded shares because they've lost faith in the underlying companies … but in others, a turn toward the exits might just be prudent profit-taking after a red-hot run.