By Joe Wallace
US stocks slipped Thursday as investors analyzed another batch of earnings and labor market data.
The S&P 500 fell 0.2% shortly after the opening bell. Nasdaq Composite technology slipped 0.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%.
The declines come after stocks surged on Wednesday, reversing losses from the start of the week. Many investors remain optimistic about the outlook for equities, but are increasingly concerned that a surge in coronavirus cases around the world could delay plans to reopen economic activity. India reported the largest one-day increase in new infections in the world on Thursday.
“It wouldn’t take much news to [investors] to start ripping up their reopening playbook, ”said Christopher Jeffery, head of inflation and rate strategy at Legal & General Investment Management. his team is closely monitoring the increase in Michigan cases.
The earnings season continues at a strong pace.
Equifax shares jumped 16% after the credit reporting agency lifted its financial projections for the year on Wednesday night and said it planned to repurchase more than $ 100 million in shares.
Blackstone Group shares rose 2.4% after the private equity firm hit a record first-quarter profit of $ 1.75 billion.
Intel and Snap are among the companies expected to release results after markets close.
Economically, worker filings for unemployment claims hit another Covid-19 low of 547,000 last week. The decline is a sign that the labor market is strengthening.
Bond yields have stabilized. The 10-year US Treasury yield fell to 1.561% from 1.566% on Wednesday. Yields, which move in the opposite direction to bond prices, fell from a high of 1.749% at the end of March.
Jason Borbora-Sheen, multi-asset portfolio manager at Ninety One, said he expects the general stock market to move sideways or decline in the coming months. “Things have gotten pretty overbought,” he said.
One of the two funds managed by Mr. Borbora-Sheen bought put options to protect against downward movements in stocks. Puts are contracts that pay off if the underlying asset falls below a certain price.
In overseas markets, shares of tech and utility companies drove the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.5%.
Shares of Credit Suisse Group fell 2.5% after the Swiss lender said it would issue new shares after Archegos Capital Management’s losses wiped out a strong first quarter. Renault shares fell 2% after the French automaker said its revenues fell in the first quarter.
The European Central Bank has left its key interest rates and bond buying programs unchanged, seeking to maintain support for governments and businesses through a new round of coronavirus infections and restrictions. The euro fell 0.1% to $ 1.2027.
In Asia, chemical and pharmaceutical stocks helped Japan’s Nikkei 225 climb 2.4%. The Shanghai Composite Index in China fell 0.2%.
– Amber Burton contributed to this article.
Write to Joe Wallace at [email protected]
(END) Dow Jones News Wire
April 22, 2021 10:34 a.m. ET (2:34 p.m. GMT)
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