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Stocks fall as tech rally halts, oil pares gain

Tan KW
Publish date: Tue, 06 Jun 2023, 08:22 AM
Tan KW
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 US equities edged lower Monday after both technology and energy stocks erased earlier gains in subdued trading volume.

Tech shares led the S&P 500 lower with Apple Inc. erasing gains of as much as 2% in anticipation of a new mixed-reality headset. Oil majors Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. also slipped after rallying earlier on higher oil prices following a Saudi Arabia supply cut. 

Meanwhile, Treasuries drifted after a report the US services sector nearly stagnated in May. The Institute for Supply Management’s overall gauge of services unexpectedly fell to the lowest level of the year, offering a less upbeat assessment of the US economy.

A rally in Big Tech and optimism of a pause in interest rate hikes has driven major gains in the S&P 500. However, risks still loom with traders increasingly speculating the Federal Reserve will hold rates steady in June, but keep its options open for hikes later on.

“The weakness in the ISM surveys stands in contrast to the recent improvement in the S&P Global PMIs - which are currently consistent with positive GDP growth of about 2% annualized - and is clearly painting a dramatically different picture to May’s employment report,” said Andrew Hunter, deputy chief US economist at Capital Economics. 

Taken with regional Fed activity surveys and other hard data, it could mean GDP growth will be barely above zero in the second quarter, Hunter said.

Saira Malik, chief investment officer at Nuveen, said she foresees a mild recession sometime in 2024 as the “growth-dampening effects of tight monetary policy work their way through the economy.”

“With high inflation likely to persist, we think investors would be well-served by allocating to real assets that can provide meaningful inflation protection,” she said, pointing to farmland. 

In other news, Bitcoin fell after Binance Holdings Ltd. and its chief executive officer were accused of breaking US securities rules. Safran SA is in talks to acquire an arm of Raytheon Technologies Corp. in a transaction that could value the business at about $1 billion. And US regulators revoked emergency authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine after the company’s Janssen unit requested its withdrawal.

Elsewhere, equities in Europe slid and indexes in Asia were mostly higher. The Nikkei 225 rose 2.2% to the highest since 1990 as investors bet a weak yen will boost corporate profits. The dollar erased gains against peers. And gold gained.


  - Bloomberg


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