Stock ETFs Are Mixed As Congress Debates New Stimulus | ETF Trends

Stocks and index ETFs are mixed in trade on Tuesday, as tech stocks struggle, but all three key indexes are holding near recent highs in the first days of the new month.

Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.41%, while the S&P 500 rallied 0.11%, attempting to remain positive, and the Nasdaq Composite is trading slightly down on the day.

All three indices closed green on Monday, with the Dow gaining over 200 points, the S&P 500 breaking the June highs, to advance to its highest level since Feb. 21, and the Nasdaq closing at a fresh high. The S&P 500 also finished the session less than 3% under the intraday record set on Feb. 19, giving investors more confidence that markets may test those highs soon.
Stock index ETFs are trading mixed along with their underlying benchmarks. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), are both higher Tuesday, while the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) has pulled back after yesterday’s gains to trade just below breakeven.

While tech is falling on Tuesday, Monday gains were driven by Microsoft and Apple, which led the technology sector to an all-time high. The stocks gained 5.6% and 2.5%, respectively. Tech has been by far the best-performing sector this year, rising more than 23% in that time period, with the Vanguard Growth ETF(VUG) and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) benefitting from the moves.

“Tech stocks have captured considerable attention for their gaudy, relative total return performance, but what is less appreciated is how ‘consistent’ they have been,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, in a note to clients. Paulsen pointed out the S&P 500 has outpaced the broader market 57% of the time in 2020.

“What valuation is warranted by a sector whose business grows faster for reasons that are less dependent on overall economic conditions, and whose members generate remarkable excess returns with superior frequency, compared to any other sector in the stock market?”

Investors are still weighing the challenges of the coronavirus, as news that a coronavirus antibody treatment from Eli Lilly could be promising. The trial will asses whether the treatment can stem the spread of the virus in nursing homes.

Meanwhile, debate over a new stimulus package is keeping investors more vigilant, with $600 weekly benefits expiring last month and investors awaiting the outcome of a new package.

“We are moving down the track,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of the talks between lawmakers, but “we still have our differences.”

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