U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds slipped Friday, giving up early morning gains. Investors continued to rotate out of heavy growth names and into more economically sensitive cyclical sectors.
On Friday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was down 0.5%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) rose 0.1%, and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: IVV) was 0.1% lower.
“Market sentiment is relatively positive and optimistic about the outlook for 2021,” Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, told Reuters. “You see the cyclical trade in terms of the types of companies that will do better as the economy continues to improve, and as vaccines continue to be distributed across the country.”
The S&P 500 and technology-heavy Nasdaq were both on track for their first weekly decline this month on growing concerns over lofty valuations, along with fears of inflationary pressures.
“What we saw (this week) represents a market that is tired and may not do very much. So we are headed for some sort of a pullback, but I don’t think we’re there just yet,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities, told Reuters.
Nevertheless, the U.S. markets are still enjoying a broad rally on strong corporate earnings, vaccination roll-outs, and President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package.
Economic data also showed the U.S. is making a recovery. The IHS Markit’s flash U.S. composite PMI, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to 58.8 in February, boosted by accelerating service activity and manufacturing output. The data point followed a report Wednesday that showed consumers used stimulus checks to boost retail spending in January to the largest increase in seven months, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some economists have even raised projections on gross domestic product for the first quarter of the year.
“Investors are taking a little bit of a pause,” Arthur van Slooten, global asset allocation strategist at Société Générale, told the WSJ. “We believe there is further to go. When the reflation trade is back on and there is more confidence about this, we’ll see a continuation of the market performance that we’ve had” in recent weeks.
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