NEW YORK CITY, RAW – Wall Street’s main indexes have slipped from record levels as investors locked in gains after a stellar vaccine and stimulus-fuelled rally while Twitter shares slumped following the permanent suspension of President Donald Trump’s account.
Shares of the micro-blogging site slumped about 9.0 per cent, knocking off more than $US2.5 billion ($A3.3 billion) from the company’s market value.
Bets on a rebound in business activity in 2021 fuelled by COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs, larger cheques and infrastructure spending under president-elect Joe Biden have underpinned Wall Street’s rise to recent peaks, with focus shifting to economy-linked stocks from the tech-heavy growth names.
“After a very quick run, people start to get a little bit nervous and take money off the table,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were down in early trading with consumer discretionary being the biggest loser, weighed down by a 6.0 per cent drop in Tesla Inc after a 11-day winning streak.
Healthcare stocks hit a record high for the fifth straight session while rate-sensitive financials gained, tracking higher US Treasury yields.
After official data pointed to a significant slowdown in labour market recovery on Friday, investors will focus on inflation, retail sales and consumer sentiment indicators this week to gauge the extent of economic damage.
Fourth-quarter results from JP Morgan, Citi and Wells Fargo on Friday will kick-off the earnings season which could offer more clues on if company executives reflect the enthusiasm of a rebound in 2021 earnings and the economy.
“People are taking profits ahead of the earnings season and investors are beginning to reflect on the market’s heights,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
“This Friday, the earnings season begins, and with the market at high levels, the question is will this justify the current price-earnings structure.”
In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 167.89 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 30,930.08, the S&P 500 lost 28.84 points, or 0.75 per cent, to 3,796.14 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 161.41 points, or 1.22 per cent, to 13,042.36.
Later in the day, US House of Representatives Democrats plan a vote to urge Vice President Mike Pence to take steps to remove Trump from office after his supporters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, before attempting to impeach him again.
Boeing Co fell 3.0 per cent after a 737-500 jet operated by Indonesian Sriwijaya Air crashed on Saturday, with 62 people on board.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 2.8-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.9-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and no new low while the Nasdaq recorded 78 new highs and two new lows.