S&P 500, Nasdaq Retreat From Record Highs as Rising Bond Yields Dent Tech

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Investing.com – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq gave up gains after hitting record highs Thursday, as rising U.S. bond yields weighed on tech, but a Facebook-led surge in communications services kept a lid on losses.

The S&P 500 was up 0.3%, and hit an intraday record high of 4,218.80, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.19%, after rising to record high of 14,211.57. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.36%, or 120 points.

U.S. first-quarter GDP rose 6.4%, better than expectations for a 6.1% rise, but growth is expected to pick up in the quarters ahead.

“The strength in activity late in the first quarter means the second quarter starts from strong foundations, and we think double-digit growth is a good bet as Covid fades and the economy fully opens,” Pantheon Macroeconomics said. “Q3 should also see very rapid growth.”

The optimism over the recovery helped push U.S. bond rates higher, pressuring growth stocks and stifling gains in big tech despite strong quarterly results.  

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was up 6% after reporting blowout quarterly earnings of $3.30 per share that markedly beat estimates for $2.33 a share.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) also delivered better-than-expected results, led by strong services and iPhone sales growth. But its shares were flat despite a slew of positive upgrades from Wall Street.

“Apple absolutely crushed rising Street expectations heading into the print across the board, with iPhone revenues beating by 17%+ in a jaw dropping performance,” Wedbush said in a note as it lifted its price target on the stock to $185 From $175.

Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) was higher, while Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded in the red.

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), which is set to report results after the market closes, was 0.5% higher.

Amazon is expected to report strong results, driven by e-commerce growth and increasing demand for its cloud services amid an ongoing digital transformation trend.

Financials were pushed higher by a rise in banks and insurance companies. Cincinnati Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CINF) led the group after the regional bank reported its first-quarter results late-Wednesday and topped analysts’ estimates.

Energy stocks continued to ride oil prices higher after major oil produces kept plans to gradual ease production cuts in place earlier this week. 

On the political front, President Joe Biden unveiled Wednesday the second instalment of the infrastructure plan that would focus on improving health care and education.

“Unlike the American Jobs Plan, which would be funded by a corporate tax hike, the American Families Plan would be paid for by raising taxes on individuals, most notably a near doubling of the capital gains tax rate on the wealthiest of Americans,” Stifel said.

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