Tech stocks lead US markets lower as inflation fears persist

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US stocks were lower on Monday, dragged down by technology stocks as investors continued to weigh rising inflation fears, which rattled markets last week.

An uptick in COVID-19 cases outside of the US also hurt risk assets, as Asian countries like Taiwan and Singapore saw a tick higher in cases..

Fueling the surge in inflation expectations has been the actual surge in commodity prices, such as lumber, oil, and copper in recent weeks. But lumber prices have taken a break from jumping higher, with the essential building block down for six straight sessions in a row.

The highest number of S&P 500 companies citing “inflation” on their first-quarter earnings calls has surged to the highest level in over 10 years, according to FactSet.

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

Read more: Buy these 25 stocks that have the rare combo of highly reliable profits and cheap valuations, UBS says

It was also merger Monday on Wall Street, as AT&T agreed to merge its media business with Discovery in a deal worth $43 billion. AT&T will divest its TimeWarner unit, which it acquired in 2018 for $85 billion. AT&T surged as much as 3%, and Discovery as much as 20% in early Monday trades.

Bank of America likes the deal, and said in a Monday note that shares of AT&T could surge 50% from current levels as the newly formed media company unlocks value for shareholders.

Bitcoin retraced part of a deep weekend sell-off that was sparked by tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Bitcoin hit support near $42,000, before jumping to the $45,000 level on Monday. The entire cryptocurrency market has lost 23% in value in the past five days, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Shares of GameStop jumped by as much as 8% in Monday trades after the company cryptically acknowledged its stock’s surge earlier this year in a tweet.

Oil prices were higher. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.6%, to $66.43 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, climbed 1.3%, to $69.62 per barrel, at intraday highs.

Gold increased as much as 1.4%, to $1,868.49 per ounce.

Read the original article on Business Insider