NEW YORK CITY, RAW – US stock indexes have remained subdued as losses in IBM put pressure on technology stocks, with investors focusing on the impact of supply chain disruption and labour shortages on corporate profits.
The Dow Jones Industrials Average retreated after hitting an intraday record high in the previous session while the benchmark S&P 500 index was just about 15 points short of its early September record.
“Stocks are climbing to new highs and anytime the market is trading at or near its all-time high, it is not unusual to see a little bit of more intraday volatility…and it should not concern investors,” said Tom Mantione, managing director, UBS Private Wealth Management in Stamford, Connecticut.
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were trading lower, with technology stocks weighing the most.
IBM tumbled 6.8 per cent after it missed market estimates for quarterly revenue as its managed infrastructure business suffered from a decline in orders.
Investors are keeping a close eye on growth outlook from companies facing rising costs, labour shortages and supply chain disruptions, with analysts expecting profit of S&P 500 companies to rise 33.7 per cent from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv data.
“Large parts of the S&P are not going to be impacted – software, healthcare, real estate, utilities, energy, materials, financials would not see any of that as an issue,” Mantione said.
Tesla Inc erased early declines to rise 2.4 per cent as investors digested the EV maker’s upbeat earnings, despite the company warning of supply-chain hurdles.
Other mega-cap stocks including Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc were mixed by early trading.
Data showed the number of people in the US filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a 19-month low last week, pointing to a tightening labour market, although a shortage of workers could keep the pace of hiring moderate in October.
In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 53.81 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 35,555.53, the S&P 500 was down 1.72 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 4,534.47 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 28.53 points, or 0.19 per cent, at 15,150.20.
AT&T Inc rose 0.7 per cent after the telecom operator’s quarterly revenue and monthly phone bill paying subscriber additions beat market expectations.
American Airlines rose 1.5 per cent after posting a smaller than expected quarterly loss while Southwest Airlines Co edged 0.4 per cent lower even as it posted a smaller third-quarter loss.
HP Inc gained 5.6 per cent as brokerages raised their price targets on the stock after the personal computer and printer maker forecast upbeat fiscal 2022 adjusted profit and raised its annual dividend.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.03-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.34-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 38 new 52-week highs and no new low while the Nasdaq recorded 58 new highs and 11 new lows.