S&P 500 little changed as banks, energy offset Tesla gain

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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  • Tesla rises on stock-split plans
  • Oil prices tumble on concerns of weaker Chinese demand
  • Dow down 0.39%, S&P 500 up 0.03%, Nasdaq up 0.49%

NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 was near the unchanged mark on Monday, as declines in energy and bank stocks offset a sharp rise in shares of Tesla, while Russia and Ukraine were poised to hold their first face-to- face peace talks in more than two weeks.

The S&P energy index (.SPNY) was down 2.39% as the worst-performing sector on the session after oil prices tumbled on the heels of a lockdown in China’s financial hub Shanghai to curb a jump in COVID-19 infections that sparked demand worries. read more

Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) slumped 2.59% while Chevron Corp (CVX.N) lost 1.85%.

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Also losing ground were financials, down 1.02% in part due to a Morgan Stanley downgrade on US banks, as risks escalate and rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have already been priced in by the market.

The sell-off in the bond market resumed on Monday, with short-dated yields hitting their highest since 2019 and the yield curve as measured by the gap between five- and 30-year yields inverted, raising concerns the Federal Reserve’s more aggressive monetary policy will dent economic growth.

“Financials … so a lot of people bought those or own those on the basis of these will do better in a higher rate environment so I’m not surprised to see the financials back off relative to what is going on in the bond market ,” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.

“Of course commodity names have rallied so high and so hot that it is not surprising to see those names back off, that is kind of what led the market down, but I still think the news for most of these commodity companies will be very, very good.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 135.44 points, or 0.39%, to 34,725.8, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 1.52 points, or 0.03%, to 4,544.58 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 69.71 points, or 0.49%, to 14,239.01.

Strong economic data and gains in beaten-down growth stocks have helped Wall Street’s main indexes recover in recent days even as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues and a host of Federal Reserve policymakers have made hawkish comments about the path of interest rate hikes.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and Russia said their delegations would arrive in Turkey for peace talks that are expected to take place on Tuesday. A senior US official said Russian President Vladimir Putin did not appear ready to make compromises, with Ukrainian officials also playing down the chances of a major breakthrough at the talks. read more

Electric-car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) jumped 7.94% after saying it will seek investor approval to increase its number of shares to enable a stock split. read more

Poly (POLY.N) soared 51.25% after HP Inc (HPQ.N) said it would buy the audio and video products maker for $1.7 billion in cash. Shares of HP declined 3.33%. read more

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.64-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.76-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 27 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 40 new highs and 100 new lows.

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Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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