S&P 500 Flat as Tech Takes Breather; Fed's Bostic Talks Up Earlier Rate Hikes

© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – The S&P 500 struggled Wednesday as the rally in tech took a breather amid a slight climb in U.S. bond yields, though downside was limited by rising consumer discretionary and financial stocks.  

The rose 0.10%, the slipped 0.03%, or 9 points, and the was up 0.23%, and had hit an intraday record high of 14,317.7.

Technology stocks, which had a strong session Tuesday, helping the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at record highs, gave up some gains amid a slight uptick in U.S. bond yields.  

Microsoft (NASDAQ:, Apple (NASDAQ:), Facebook (NASDAQ:) and (NASDAQ:) were higher, while Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:) was flat.

The uptick in comes as Federal Reserve officials continued to talk up the prospect of earlier rate hikes.

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic confirmed he was one of the seven Federal Open Market Committee members who projected a rate hike in late 2022 reflecting the June summary of economic projections released last week.

Bostic said the economy is close to meeting the Fed’s “substantial further progress” hurdle to start bond tapering.

The recent bid in tech has been helped by investor bets that a low growth, stable inflation environment is on the horizon. But some warn it is too early to give up on the reflation rate, which tends to benefit economically cyclical corners of the market, as rates are likely to resume their upward projection.

“[W]e believe the U.S. is most likely still within the early-to-mid-stages of a reflationary recovery cycle that can transition toward inflationary growth in the years ahead,” said Janney Montgomery Scott.

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“[T]his reversion back toward low-rate/low-growth can persist over the near-term, [but] rates will eventually resume their modest upward trajectory … this can allow for further multiple expansion in stocks,” it added.

The advance in U.S. rates helped financials, mostly banking stocks, which tend to benefit from rising rate environments amid a boost to net interest margin.

Energy was pushed higher by rising crude prices on data that showed weekly U.S. oil fell sharply for a fifth straight week, reflecting strong demand over the summer months.

inventories fell 7.6 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for a draw of 3.9 million barrels.

On the economic front, the frantic pace of housing activity appears to be cooling, constrained by supply issues as new-home sales fell by 5.9% to a 769,000 units in May on an annualized basis.

, meanwhile, rebounded sharply from its slump below $30,000 a day earlier, helping crypto-related stocks including Coinbase, Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:), and Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:) move higher.


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