Dow plummets 726 points for worst day of 2021 as virus variants threaten global recovery

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US stocks cratered on Monday as investors eyed a spike in global COVID-19 cases led by the Delta variant, throwing up a roadblock to a full recovery of the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 726 points, or about 2.1%, for its worst day since October 2020, while the benchmark S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite also tumbled.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note declined as much as 12.2 basis points to 1.177%, its lowest level since February as investors flocked to safe-haven assets.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Monday:

Read more: ‘More weakening beneath the surface’: A Wall Street strategist who warned investors before last year’s 35% crash lays out the latest signs that another slump into a bear market is looming

“COVID has returned to the front burner of investor concerns right now,” David Donabedian, CIO of CIBC Private Wealth, said in a note. “Last week we had high inflation readings. Now we have concerns that the rise in COVID cases is dimming the economic outlook. While the second-quarter earnings reports have so far beat expectations, this is old news now.”

Shares of airlines, cruise operators, and other travel companies slumped on concerns that the Delta variant would derail the recovery.

American Airlines and airplane maker Boeing all slipped roughly 5% each. Expedia Group and hotel chain Marriott both declined by roughly 3% each. Meanwhile, Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and Royal Caribbean Cruises all fell as well.

Energy stocks tumbled, including Texas-based oil equipment maker NOV and Diamondback Energy.

Some argue the plunge on Monday is nothing to fear. The sell-off in stocks is a “healthy pullback” that will likely be short-lived and could present a buying opportunity, said technical analyst Katie Stockton of Fairlead Strategies.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued its recent slide, falling as much as 3.4% to $30,646.90. All other major cryptocurrencies – ether, cardano, ripple, dogecoin, polkadot, and solana – traded lower on Monday.

Despite the downturn, mining bitcoin has been a lot easier. The asset’s “network difficulty,” which measures how much computing power is needed to mint a new bitcoin, has plummeted.

Oil fell on news over the weekend that OPEC+ reached a deal on supply, overcoming the deadlock between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 8.06%, to $66.02 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, dropped 7.39%, to $68.15 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold fell as much as 0.45%, to $1,807.56 per ounce.

Lumber gained modestly, rising 4.83% to $561.90 as supply catches up with demand. Prices are set to stay elevated despite recent declines, according to an economist,

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S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures hover near record highs after Joe Biden strikes $1 trillion infrastructure deal, while oil prices rise

Joe Biden Rob Portman infrastructure deal
President Joe Biden (right) reached a deal with Republicans on infrastructure.

S&P 500 futures hovered near a record high on Friday after President Joe Biden struck a deal with Republicans on a $1 trillion infrastructure deal, which includes $579 billion of new spending.

Futures for the benchmark S&P 500 were up 0.05%, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.04%, after both indices hit a record high on Thursday. Dow Jones futures rose 0.26%, with industrial firms more likely to benefit from infrastructure spending.

In Asia overnight, China’s CSI 300 jumped 1.63% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.66%. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index slipped 0.09% in early trading.

President Biden’s deal would see over $1 trillion spent on upgrading the US’s infrastructure over the next eight years. Roads, bridges and rail networks would be particular priorities.

Biden pushed Congress to pass the bill on Thursday, saying: “We have to move and we have to move fast.”

Oil prices extended their rally on Friday, heading for a fifth weekly consecutive gain, with Brent crude up 0.36% to $75.82 a barrel and WTI crude up 0.27% to $73.50.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “News of the infrastructure plan also spilled over to the oil price in anticipation of further energy demand.”

The deal helped push a broad range of stocks higher, including Caterpillar and Tesla, which both climbed more than 2.5%.

Bank shares also rose on Thursday after the Federal Reserve said lenders had passed stress tests and could resume stock buybacks and dividend payments.

Elsewhere, falling bond yields suggested investors are becoming comfortable with the central bank’s management of the economy and markets.

The yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note, which moves inversely to the price, was roughly flat on Friday at 1.488%, down sharply from a high of more than 1.75% touched at the end of March. The dollar index was down 0.1% to 91.72.

One possible obstacle for markets is the release of the May core personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, due at 8.30 a.m. ET. Analysts expect a 3.4% increase from 3.1% in April.

“While Fed officials have assured us that all of this is likely to be transitory, a high number could well give the markets pause,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at trading platform CMC Markets, said.

Bitcoin slipped 1.8% to $34.226, according to Bloomberg data. The cryptocurrency fell below $30,000 on Tuesday, but investors have since shown willingness to buy the dip.

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US futures rise ahead of jobless claims and Fed speeches, while oil extends rally as outlook brightens

A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith
A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange

US stock index futures climbed on Thursday as investors awaited the release of weekly jobless claims data and prepared to digest a series of speeches from Federal Reserve officials.

Meanwhile, oil prices extended their rally as the outlook for the global economy brightened, with vaccine rollouts spurring expectations of strong demand for energy in the coming months. Oil is on course for a third straight monthly gain in June.

In Europe, stocks rose ahead of the Bank of England’s interest rate decision. It is expected to leave monetary policy on hold but investors will scrutinize the decision for signs of concerns about inflation, which jumped above the Bank’s 2% target in May.

Futures for the US benchmark S&P 500 rose 0.41%, after the index slipped slightly on Wednesday. Dow Jones futures climbed 0.4% while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.54%.

Europe’s Stoxx 600 rose 0.59% in early European trading, while London’s FTSE 100 was 0.2% higher. China’s CSI 300 climbed 0.17% overnight while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was flat.

Investors awaited US jobless claims data on Thursday, after a quiet week on the economics front. Economists expect weekly initial jobless claims to drop below 400,000, after a surprise rise to 412,000 the previous week.

John Williams, the President of the New York Fed, and Raphael Bostic, Atlanta Fed President, are among the key central bank officials making public comments on Thursday. Investors will parse their words for any hints about the future direction of US monetary policy.

On Wednesday, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he thought the central bank would have to start cutting back its support sooner than people expected, moving markets somewhat.

“As we make substantial further progress… I think we’d be far better off, from a risk-management point of view, beginning to adjust these purchases of Treasuries,” he told Bloomberg.

The yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note climbed 1.3 basis points to 1.5% on Thursday. The dollar index slipped 0.08% to 91.73.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at currency group Oanda, said the light economic calendar means “we will remain at the mercy of Fed-speak and a schizophrenic intra-day market.”

However, investors will get a clearer sense of what global central banks are thinking about inflation and their support packages when the Bank of England makes its interest rate decision at 7.00 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere in markets, oil prices extended their rally. Brent crude rose 0.6% to $75.64 a barrel while WTI crude climbed 0.53% to $73.47.

Prices have risen by almost a quarter in the last three months, as the outlook for the global economy has brightened, and investors feel secure that the OPEC+ group of oil producing countries will closely manage supply.

Bitcoin’s recovery – which saw the price rise above $34,000 on Wednesday and dropping below $30,000 a day earlier – ran into trouble. The cryptocurrency was down 0.4% on Thursday at $32,913.

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Tech stock futures slip as investors brace for a jump in inflation, while bitcoin rebounds after sharp drop

Investors and traders were bracing for key inflation data on Thursday.

Tech stock futures slipped on Wall Street on Thursday as investors around the world awaited key US inflation data, which is expected to show a sharp rise in prices in May.

Meanwhile, bitcoin rallied after its recent tumble as investors were drawn in by the lower price. The dollar and Treasury yields moved slightly higher.

Futures were mostly flat, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index down 0.2%. S&P 500 futures down 0.05% and Dow Jones futures up 0.03%.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 was down 0.08% as the European Central Bank prepared to set monetary policy.

In Asia overnight, China’s CSI 300 rose 0.67% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.34%.

Markets have been subdued for much of the last two weeks, with investors happy to see stocks tick slowly higher as economies reopen. The S&P 500 and the Stoxx 600 have been trading around record highs.

Yet the US consumer price index inflation data, due to be released at 8.30 a.m. ET on Thursday, has the potential to shake markets.

Economists expect CPI to have jumped 4.7% year on year in May from 4.2% in April, which was the highest reading since 2008.

Some investors worry that rising prices could force the Federal Reserve to reduce its support for the economy. Inflation also erodes the real returns on financial assets. Tech stocks, which have soared in an environment of low inflation and low interest rates, are particularly vulnerable.

Markets should be able to digest a consensus rise in inflation, but will start to worry if the Fed begins to shift its position, Alan Ruskin, chief international strategist at Deutsche Bank, said.

“Next week, the [Fed] is going to have a tougher time maintaining exactly the same ultra-dovish posture as the last few meetings, given the inflation overshoot from prior expectations,” he said.

However, Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Wealth Management, said he agreed with the Fed’s view that inflation should be transitory.

“The effect of very low prices this time last year and the uncoordinated reopening of the global economy are contributing to reported price increases in specific product markets, but should not last,” he said.

Elsewhere, bitcoin rallied on Thursday as investors moved in to buy the recent dip, after El Salvador’s move to make the crypto asset legal tender restored some positivity to the market.

The cryptocurrency was up 1.4% to $36,900, having fallen to around $31,000 on Tuesday. It remained roughly 43% below April’s record high, but around 25% higher for the year.

Bond yields edged higher on Thursday, with the yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note rising 0.5 basis points to 1.494%. Yields move inversely to prices.

The bond market has, in recent weeks, appeared unfazed by rising inflation. The 10-year yield dropped below 1.5% for the first time in a month on Wednesday. The dollar index climbed 0.15% to 90.26 ahead of the inflation data.

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Not so hot: Bitcoin’s 50% plunge since April puts it far behind lumber, copper and US banks for the year

Bitcoin has lost around half its value since April.

Once up more than 120% for the year, bitcoin’s dramatic plunge since April means the world’s biggest cryptocurrency is now lagging behind a host of more traditional financial assets in 2021.

  • Bitcoin’s 50% plunge since April has put its 2021 returns behind a host of more-traditional assets.
  • It now lags well behind commodities and US banks, which have jumped as economies have reopened.
  • Bitcoin’s gains were on a par with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones on Tuesday after another sharp drop.
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Bitcoin has lost around 50% of its value since peaking at close to $65,000 in April. It traded below $33,000 on Tuesday, around 13% higher than where it started the year.

The 13% increase put it far behind some of 2021’s biggest risers – particularly commodities and bank stocks, which have jumped as economies have reopened and markets have stayed buoyant.

Bitcoin’s plunge even put the cryptocurrency roughly on a par with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 for the year.

Lumber prices have rocketed as housing markets around the world have boomed despite the coronavirus pandemic, with the random-length price rising around 40% in 2021. It stood at just over $1,220 per 1,000 board feet on Tuesday, after a fall in recent days.

Copper has also jumped as global manufacturing has picked up again, rising roughly 28% across the year to above $4.50 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Even US banks, the bedrock of the traditional economy, were far outperforming bitcoin on Tuesday as a rebound in growth and rising bond yields boosted share prices. The Dow Jones US banks index has risen around 36% since the start of the year after a lackluster 2020.

Bitcoin was down close to 5% on Tuesday morning. Analysts said one explanation was that former President Donald Trump said the crypto asset “seems like a scam” on Fox Business. Another was that the US has recovered a major ransom payment by breaking into a wallet, denting the anti-government case for crypto.

The cryptocurrency could crash again if it falls much further, said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at currency firm Oanda. “Failure of $30,000 will basically put every long position since January 1 in the red, which, I believe, will trigger another capitulation trade,” he said.

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US stocks sink after consumer and housing data raise concerns about reopening momentum

worried trader
  • Stocks largely lose ground after shortfalls in consumer confidence and housing sales readings
  • Consumer confidence in May stalled on worries about economic growth closing.
  • The Nasdaq Composite eked out a small win.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks largely turned lower on Tuesday after disappointing data about consumers and house sales soured sentiment at a time when investors are counting a revival in business activity that was paused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 lost ground to mark their first loss in four sessions. Stocks pulled back after Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading for May was below expectations of 119.5, with short-term optimism by consumers down as they anticipate decelerating economic growth and softening labor market conditions in the coming months. Meanwhile, new home sales slid 5.9% in April to a more-than-expected annual rate of 863,000 units.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday:

Meanwhile, market speculation has picked up pace recently and retail investors should move with caution, Darren Schuringa, CEO of ASYMmetric ETFs, told Insider on Tuesday.

“When you start to see margin balances shoot up, that’s a red flag for investors,” he said. He said a study his firm conducted showed that margin balances in the US have hit record levels. With margin trading, investors borrow money from their brokerage companies and use the funds to buy stocks.

“It’s a great indicator of a market peak. Margin balances before the Dot-Com bubble peaked. Before the Great Recession, they peaked. Currently, they are off the charts at over $800 billion, approaching $1 trillion.” Schuringa said such balances have soared from around $479 billion after the coronavirus pandemic hit last year.

Around the markets, Lordstown Motors shares tumbled Tuesday after the company cut its annual production guidance and said it needs to raise more money as it aims to start production on its electric pickup truck this year.

Gold rose 0.9% to $1,897.94 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield at 1.56%.

Oil prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.2%, to $65.93 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 0.1% to $68.52 per barrel.

Bitcoin dropped 2%, to $37,920.15.

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US stocks trade higher as reopening optimism returns following week of losses

Stock Market
  • US stocks trade higher as reopening optimism returns following week of losses.
  • Bitcoin recovered somewhat from a vicious weekend selloff, but is still roughly 50% lower from April’s all-time high.
  • Gold prices climbed, buoyed by the rout in cryptocurrencies.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks trade higher on Monday as reopening optimism returned following the second straight week of losses.

“A brace of economic data this week on a wide variety of economic indicators ranging from manufacturing, home prices, personal income, and consumer confidence will provide plenty of information on the health of the US economy for investors to ponder,” John Stoltzfus from Oppenheimer Holdings said in a note on Monday.

Adding to the optimism, daily coronavirus infections in the US have fallen to their lowest in roughly 11 months, revealing continued progress in battling the pandemic.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note slipped by -0.017% to 1.615% Monday compared to Friday’s 1.629%.

On Friday, US stocks closed mixed. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, despite finishing lower, managed to end a four-week losing streak, gaining just more than 0.1% for the five-day period.

Optimism towards an improving US economy increased following the Thursday release of the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index. The April LEI data showed a 17% year-over-year improvement, as well as a 1.6% month-over-month improvement.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Monday:

Bitcoin regained its losses, rising by 13.31% to $$38,417 as of Monday morning – but is still roughly 50% lower from April’s all-time high.

HSBC chief Noel Quinn on Monday said that his bank has no plans of initiating a cryptocurrency desk nor offering these to clients, Reuters first reported. The CEO of Europe’s largest bank cited the volatility of cryptocurrencies as the reason, as well as a lack of transparency around digital assets.

“Given the volatility, we are not into bitcoin as an asset class, if our clients want to be there then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business,” Quinn said.

Meanwhile, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz told Goldman Sachs in a recent interview that dogecoin is a temporary fad that’s likely to lose momentum because institutions aren’t investing in it.

Novogratz is bullish on cryptocurrencies in general but is less excited about dogecoin, unlike billionaire Mark Cuban.

Oil prices climbed. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.29%, to $64.40 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, climbed 1.32%, to $67.32 per barrel.

Gold rose 0.4%, to $1,881.83 per ounce, buoyed by an immense selloff in cryptocurrencies. The precious metal, according to Sophie Griffiths, an analyst at Oanda, is on track to book gains of over 6% across May in its best monthly performance since December.

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US futures inch lower for fourth day as investors digest Fed minutes, while bitcoin rebounds after crypto crash

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US stock index futures inched lower on Thursday morning.

US stock index futures inched lower for a fourth day on Thursday after equities fell in the previous session amid concerns the Federal Reserve might cut back on support for the economy sooner than expected and as cryptocurrency markets crashed.

Bitcoin rebounded somewhat after falling as much as 30% on Wednesday in the wake of Tesla’s U-turn on payments and a decision by China to crack down on the token’s use.

S&P 500 futures slipped 0.15% Thursday after the index fell for the third consecutive day on Wednesday. Dow Jones futures were down 0.22% but Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.05%.

European stocks rebounded from sharp falls on Wednesday, when fresh concerns about the economic recovery and the actions of central banks came to the fore. The continent-wide Stoxx 600 was 0.5% higher.

In Asia, China’s CSI 300 closed 0.27% higher overnight, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 eked out a 0.19% increase.

Markets had a rocky day on Wednesday, with US stocks falling sharply before rebounding to close only slightly lower.

The release of the minutes from the Fed’s last interest rate meeting unnerved investors. A single line showed the central bank had discussed the possibility of eventually starting to talk about cutting back on bond purchases as growth and inflation pick up.

“A number of participants suggested that if the economy continued to make rapid progress toward the committee’s goals, it might be appropriate at some point in upcoming meetings to begin discussing a plan for adjusting the pace of asset purchases,” the minutes said.

US bond yields, which move inversely to prices, jumped as investors digested the minutes. The yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note rose as high as 1.692%, after starting the week at around 1.63%. Yet it slipped back to 1.661% on Thursday.

Analysts were not entirely sure how to interpret the Fed minutes, causing gyrations in stocks. Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at trading platform Oanda, said the minutes “restored a sense of order” by confirming that the Fed remained committed to its ultra-loose monetary policy for the foreseeable future.

Yet Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank said they showed Fed policymakers “have indeed talked about talking about tapering.”

Many investors are highly concerned that rising inflation will erode the value of their portfolios. They are equally as concerned that it will force the Fed and other central banks to reduce their support for the economy, weighing on stocks and growth.

In a sign that investors are becoming wary of high asset prices, bitcoin plunged as much as 30% to $30,000 on Wednesday following a breakneck rally in the first months of 2021 that took the price near $65,000 in April.

The digital asset rebounded later in the day and continued to claw its way higher on Thursday, rising 4.2% to $39,949.

Bitcoin’s rapid multi-day slide was triggered by Elon Musk saying Tesla would no longer accept it as payment for cars due to its “insane” energy use. But the catalyst for Wednesday’s crash was a move by Chinese regulators to step up their pressure on the token’s use.

Analysts said the crypto crash made itself felt across the wider market. “Typically, moves in the crypto arena are rather isolated,” Michael Brown, senior market analyst at Caxton FX, said. “Yesterday, though, was different, with the sell-off in the crypto arena sparking some notable risk aversion elsewhere.”

Brown added: “This ripple effect seems to be a strong illustration of how large crypto markets have become; the correlation between these assets is, at least intraday, fairly clear to see.”

Oil prices also tumbled on Wednesday as investor confidence fell. But Brent crude had steadied on Thursday and rose 0.11% to $66.72 a barrel, while WTI crude climbed 0.32% to $63.53 a barrel.

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US futures rise along with global stocks as Fed officials soothe inflation fears, sending bond yields lower

Inflation has caused a volatile week on Wall Street.

US futures rose along with global stocks on Friday after Federal Reserve officials stepped in to try to soothe investor fears over rising inflation, and equities rebounded somewhat from sharp falls.

Commodities prices also recovered slightly after sliding earlier in the week on expectations that the Fed may cut back its support for the economy sooner than expected, while bond yields fell.

S&P 500 futures were 0.46% higher on Friday after the benchmark index rose 1.22% on Thursday. Futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 were up 0.67% and Dow Jones futures had risen 0.36%.

Despite Thursday’s rebound, the S&P 500 had fallen more than 2.8% across the week after sharp falls in the wake of Wednesday’s stronger-than-expected inflation report.

Consumer price index inflation jumped 4.2% year on year in April, the strongest rise since 2008.

The prospect of sustained stronger inflation has worried investors, as it eats into the returns on financial assets and raises the prospect that the Fed may reduce support for the economy to cool prices.

Yet the Fed has insisted it will look past this rise in inflation, which it argues will be temporary.

Fed governor Christopher Waller on Thursday reiterated the point, saying: “The factors putting upward pressure on inflation are temporary, and an accommodative monetary policy continues to have an important role to play in supporting the recovery.”

His words echoed other Fed officials and appeared to calm market nerves on Thursday and Friday.

Lee Hardman, currency analyst at Japanese bank MUFG, said: “The comments have had some dampening impact on Fed rate hike expectations.”

Bond yields, which move inversely to prices, pulled back after rising earlier in the week. The yield on the key 10-year US Treasury note was down 2.8 basis points to 1.640% on Friday.

Asian stocks rallied overnight, with China’s CSI 300 up 2.36% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 rising 2.32%. In Europe, the continent-wide Stoxx 600 was up 0.33% and Britain’s FTSE 100 had climbed 0.77%.

Commodities prices steadied after sharp falls earlier in the week, which were driven by concerns that higher inflation might force the Fed to raise interest rates sooner than previously expected, dampening the economy.

Oil prices gained, with Brent crude up 0.6% to $67.45 a barrel and WTI crude 0.74% higher to $64.29 per barrel.

Bloomberg’s agriculture and livestock commodity index was up 0.94% to 90.89, having tumbled from a high of more than 93.4 earlier in the week.

The dollar index was down 0.34% to 90.44, after climbing sharply on Tuesday. The greenback has been pulled in different directions by volatile bond-market action.

Bitcoin was marginally lower and traded at around $50,300 after a sharp fall on Wednesday and Thursday in the wake of Elon Musk’s decision to halt payments for Tesla in the cryptocurrency.

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US stocks close mixed with tech lower as traders weigh economic-recovery data

FILE - In this May 13, 2020, file photo, Ford Motor Co., line workers put together ventilators that the automaker is assembling at the Ford Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. American industry rebounded last month as factories began to reopen for the first time since being shut down by the coronavirus in Aprll. The Federal Reserve said Tuesday, June 16, 2020, that industrial production - including output at factories, mines and utilities - rose 1.4% in May after plummeting a record 12.4% in April and 4.6% in March. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
In this May 13, 2020, file photo, Ford Motor line workers put together ventilators that the automaker is assembling at the Ford Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti Township, Mich.

  • US stocks close mixed as traders weigh economic recovery data against inflationary concerns.
  • Shares of Moderna and Pfizer also slipped after the US said it will support a proposal to waive intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.
  • Oil prices snapped a two-day winning streak as investors pull back from the recent rally.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks close mixed Wednesday with technology leading the losses as traders weigh economic recovery data against inflationary concerns.

The US private sector saw hiring accelerate through April – growing by 742,000 last month – according to ADP’s monthly employment report, as widespread vaccination led the economy to further reopen.

The median estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a gain of 873,000 payrolls. The most optimistic estimates pegged job growth at well over 1 million.

“The labor market continues an upward trend of acceleration and growth, posting the strongest reading since September 2020,” Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, said in a statement.

“US stocks are rising after solid economic data, calm in the bond market, and as the global economic recovery improves,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note.

He continued: “The next big catalyst for equities is that the US needs its allies to also win the fight against COVID and that will take time. The gains abroad are greater as the recovery potential in Europe far exceeds what is left for the US.”

President Biden also announced a new goal Tuesday to have 70% of adults in the US at least partially vaccinated by July. This means giving close to 100 million shots over the next 60 days, the president said.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Wednesday.

Peloton Interactive plunged as much as 15% after announcing it will voluntarily recall two versions of its treadmills. The decision comes in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission following reports of injuries and one death.

Shares of Moderna and Pfizer also slipped after the US said it will support a proposal to waive intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.

“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

In cryptocurrencies, dogecoin continued its red-hot rally, rising more than 40% to a new all-time high near $0.70. Ether meanwhile is up 350% year to date – hitting a new high of $3,500 on Tuesday – far outpacing the 90% rise of bitcoin.

The 27-year-old co-creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, who currently holds 333,521 ETH, is now the world’s youngest crypto billionaire as the second-largest cryptocurrency surges to a $400 billion valuation. One analyst said ether will likely hit $40,000.

Oil prices snapped a two-day winning streak as investors pull back from the recent rally. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.49%, to $65.37 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 0.23%, to $68.72 per barrel.

Gold climbed 0.35%, to $1,784.75 per ounce.

Lumber also topped $1,600 per thousand board feet for the first time ever this week as ongoing homebuilding push continues to drain lumber producers that are already lagging supply.

Stocks related to lumber soared in response, including Weyerhauser and West Fraser Timber.

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