Technology and Growth Sectors Drag on U.S. Stock ETFs

U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds were mixed Monday, with technology stocks falling out as inflation concerns weighed on the once high-flying growth names.

On Monday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was down 2.4%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) rose 0.3%, and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) was 0.6% lower.

“Investors are a little nervous about Treasury yields rising so quickly and it has been a pretty quick move in a short period of time,” Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest, told Reuters. ”What investors are grappling with … is what does this mean from an inflation perspective. Because of that, there’s a little bit of tantrum in the market right now.”

Yields on U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasuries were up at 1.37% on Monday. Since the start of February, 10-year yields are up about 26 basis points, on pace for their largest monthly gain in three years.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will speak before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday where the markets will watch for any potential changes to the central bank’s monetary policy outlook.

Meanwhile, the upbeat fourth-quarter earnings season has helped U.S. equities rally to records earlier last week. They have since lost momentum as investors refocus on the coronavirus pandemic and the slow distribution of vaccines, along with the renewed fears of rising inflation due to aggressive stimulus policies.

However, some are still optimistic about the market outlook ahead and see this pullback as only a small bump in the road.

“They are about to put lighter fluid onto the barbecue with this $1.9 trillion in stimulus,” Patrick Spencer, managing director of U.S. investment firm Baird, told the Wall Street Journal. “You’ve got everything in your favor at the moment: good news on Covid-19 and stimulus and good earnings. That is why rates are higher.”

The recent market moves may only reflect a rotation out of richly priced tech stocks into more economically sensitive sectors that could benefit from the broad recovery.

“Valuations for technology and growth stocks have generally been too high, compared to the rest of the market,” Jason Pride, chief investment officer for private wealth at Glenmede, told the WSJ.

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