U.S. markets and stock exchange traded funds were mixed Tuesday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq hitting another record high, as investors take profits ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve’s meeting.
On Tuesday, the Invesco QQQ Trust (NASDAQ: QQQ) was up 1.0%, SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEArca: DIA) was 0.6% lower, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) fell 0.4%.
Financial, industrial and energy stocks that have rallied in recent weeks on an improving economic outlook were among the areas dragging on U.S. markets while previous high-flying growth stocks in the technology and communication services sectors continued to push higher.
The Nasdaq was the first of Wall Street’s main indices to rise into a new bull market after a low on March 23, Reuters reports. The rally accelerated last week after a surprisingly upbeat May jobs report fueled bets that the markets are past the worst of the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.
“It’s a very tepid pullback in equities, a little bit more concentrated in early cyclical stocks that feels like profit-taking after their very impressive rallies over the past few weeks,” Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist at INTL FCStone, told Reuters.
Investors are now waiting on the Federal Reserve as policymakers finish their two-day meeting on Wednesday. While no major policy announcements are expected, investors will still want updates on the health of the economy.
“After a rally like we saw yesterday, the temptation is to take profits,” Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management, told the Wall Street Journal. “There’s no shame to neutralize your position and take a pause. The outlook for the global economy is very, very challenging.”
Many are also worried that we may see a resurgence of the coronavirus as over a dozen U.S. states have confirmed an increase in COVID-19 cases in the past week at a pace much faster than the week prior.
“There are questions that still remain,” Luc Filip, head of discretionary portfolio management at SYZ Private Banking, told the WSJ. “Will there be a second wave of virus outbreak? Will we have a lot of defaults and bankruptcies? Will this recovery be as strong as expected in the second half of the year?”
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