Economically Sensitive Sectors Help Power U.S. Stock ETFs

U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds diverged Monday, with economically sensitive sectors leaving once high-flying technology shares in the dust.

On Monday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) fell 1.0%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was up 2.0%, and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) gained 0.9%.

Bolstering cyclical bets, the U.S. Senate passed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief aid, and the House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill along before President Joe Biden said he would sign it to send $1,400 direct payments to Americans, Reuters reports.

However, prospects of additional government spending and quickening economic growth have fueled fears of rising inflation, weighing on bonds and pushing up the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield to near one-year highs.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen somewhat assuaged market fears by arguing that the package would fuel a “very strong” U.S. recovery but won’t cause the economy to run too hot.

“This is an ideal traders’ market with certain sectors and individual stocks performing better than the wider market, as investors pick and choose individual stocks that will perform better as the economy reopens,” Anthony Denier, chief executive officer of trading platform Webull, told Reuters.

Growth-heavy names, notably technology stocks, have pulled back in recent weeks on fears of higher interest rates. Rising interest rates disproportionately hurt high-growth tech companies since investors value them based on earnings expected years into the future. Rising rates reduce the value of future earnings more than those in the short-term.

“Even though we got somewhat of a respite from the rising rate reaction, we do think that’s really important to keep an eye on,” Lisa Erickson, the head of traditional investments at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, told the Wall Street Journal. “Certainly the trajectory for rates is up as the economy reopens, so a lot of it just depends on the speed and the pace of how quickly rates go up.”

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