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Stocks trade flat despite a big drop in consumer sentiment

Stocks trade flat despite a big drop in consumer sentiment

ECONOMIC NEWS

Stocks trade flat despite a big drop in consumer sentiment

Stocks were little changed Friday as gains for technology and health care companies were checked by weakness in energy and other sectorsBy DAMIAN J. TROISE AP Business WriterAugust 13, 2021, 5:24 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSINGAPORE — Stocks were little changed Friday as gains for technology and health care companies were checked by weakness in energy and other sectors.Investors had little reaction to economic data that showed a drop in consumer confidence last month due to the delta variant of the coronavirus.The S&P 500 rose 0.1% as of 1:13 p.m.. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25 points, or less than 0.1%, to 35,525 and the Nasdaq rose 0.1%. Both the benchmark S&P 500 and the Dow are on pace for weekly gains. Small-company stocks fell.Technology companies made some of the broadest gains. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices rose 3.4%. Healthcare companies also gained ground. Pfizer rose 1.6% and Moderna was relatively unchanged after U.S. regulators authorized a booster shot of their COVID-19 vaccines for people with weakened immune systems.The S&P 500 is roughly split between gainers and losers. Concerns about the resurgent virus, reflected in the latest consumer sentiment report, are prompting investors to shift money away from companies that could take a hit from people pulling back on spending for travel and other in-person services, said Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital Advisors.American Airlines fell 1% and Las Vegas Sands dipped 1.5%. The Russell 2000 was down 0.6% in another sign that investors were worried about future economic growth.Disney rose 1.9% after the company returned to a profit last quarter, helped by the reopening of its theme parks and more subscribers to its Disney+ service.Bond yields fell, which weighed on banks. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped to 1.31% from 1.34% late Thursday. JPMorgan Chase lost 1.2%.Investors got an unexpectedly bad reading on the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which fell to 70.2 from its previous level of 81.2 in July. That was the largest drop in sentiment since April 2020, when the pandemic took its initial grip on the country.The drop in the survey’s reading was almost entirely due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which has caused hospitals to fill up with unvaccinated patients across the U.S.


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