The New York Stock Exchange ended divided on Friday, with the technology-dominated Nasdaq climbing to new records, while the Dow Jones, shaken by lockdowns in Europe, was losing its third session.
According to final results at the close, the index of flagship stocks dropped 0.75% to 35,602.18 points and the S&P 500 fell 0.14% to 4,697.96 points. The Nasdaq, where the so-called “growth” technology stocks are concentrated, posted a second consecutive daily record of 16,057.44 points (+ 0.40%).
Investor morale has been affected by inflationary pressures, uncertainty around monetary policies but especially by the restrictions related to Covid-19 that have been taken in Europe, analysts noted.
The reaction to the containment measures announced in Austria and the restrictions in Germany continued to create “a rotation between traditional stocks which have fallen, and growth technology stocks which have performed well”, underlined Karl Haeling, of the LBBW bank.
“Until today, the market predicted that health restrictions in Europe would be minimal and would not slow down the recovery. But with what is happening in Austria and Germany, it’s a little more worrying,” he said. added the analyst.
Another sign of fear for demand and the pace of recovery, rates on 10-year Treasuries eased to 1.54% from 1.58%.
– Do not panic –
Karl Haeling also stressed that if the market reaction reflected an adjustment of priorities towards technological stocks, it did not reflect “a feeling of panic yet”.
In the United States, “we could see an acceleration of cases which could slow down the economy but not in a dramatic way,” he added.
With this return of restrictions in some European countries, airline and cruise line titles fell like United Airlines (-2.78%) or Norvegian Cruise (-2.08%).
The title of vaccine manufacturer Moderna (+ 4.92%) was hailed after the announcement by US health authorities of the green light for a third dose of anti-Covid vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna for all fully vaccinated adults there is is at least six months old. Pfizer shares fell (-1.19%).
This announcement comes as contamination is on the rise again in the United States, with an average of 85,000 new cases of Covid-19 daily (compared to around 70,000 at the end of October), and around 1,000 deaths per day.
The fall of the Dow Jones was driven by that of energy giants like Chevron (-2.22%) and Exxon (-4.62%).
The S&P 500 energy sector fell 3.94% in the wake of falling crude prices, also worried about the consequences of renewed sanitation measures in Europe on economic recovery and oil demand.
Financial stocks also lost momentum (-1.11% for the banking sector), with the easing of rates: Wells Fargo, CitiGroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America all dropped between 1% and 2%.
The software group Intuit was celebrated (+ 10.08% to 692 dollars) after having surprised analysts with a quasi-doubling of its turnover in the first quarter of its staggered fiscal year and an improvement in its outlook.
Intuit said the progress was due to its acquisitions this year of Credit Karma for $ 8 billion, a popular site assessing the creditworthiness of consumers applying for loans, and the MailChimp marketing services platform for $ 12 billion.