S&P 500 ends down, Big Tech lifts Nasdaq to record

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The floor of the the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen after the close of trading in New York, U.S., March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Sept 7 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 closed lower on Tuesday while the Nasdaq reached a record high, as investors balanced worries about the slowing pace of economic recovery with expectations that the Federal Reserve will maintain its accommodative monetary policy.

Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) and Merck & Co fell after Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the stocks to “equal-weight” from “overweight.”

The Nasdaq (.IXIC)was supported for most of the day by Big Tech stocks that have fueled Wall Street’s gains in recent years. Apple (AAPL.O) and Netflix (NFLX.O) both hit record highs.

“You could call it a gravitation toward Big Tech. As people feel a bit uncertain about how COVID will play out, you don’t have your reopening worries with those companies,” said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta.

Much of the rest of Wall Street fell. Most of the eleven sub-indexes traded lower, with economy-sensitive sectors like industrials (.SPLRCI), real estate (.SPLRCR) and materials (.SPLRCM) among the deepest declines.

Tepid August payrolls data on Friday last week raised concerns that the economic recovery was slowing down. read more

On Tuesday, Morgan Stanley cut its rating on U.S. stocks to underweight, pointing to risks related to economic growth, policy and legislation, and warning it expects the next two months to be “bumpy.”

Accommodative central bank policies and reopening optimism have pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to record highs over the past few weeks, but concerns are growing about rising coronavirus infections due to the Delta variant and its impact on the economic recovery.

Analysts on average expect S&P 500 companies to increase their earnings per share by 30% in the September quarter, following a 96% surge in the second quarter, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 0.75% to end at 35,104.56 points, while the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 0.33% to 4,520.26.

The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) climbed 0.07% to 15,374.08.

The S&P 500 remains up about 20% year to date, and the Nasdaq is up about 19%.

Boeing Co ((BA).N) dropped after Ireland’s Ryanair (RYA.I) said it had ended talks with the planemaker over a purchase of 737 MAX 10 jets worth tens of billions of dollars due to differences over price. read more

Match Group Inc (MTCH.O) shares jumped after the S&P Dow Jones Indices said on Friday the Tinder parent will join the benchmark index.

Columbia Property Trust Inc (CXP.N) surged after Pacific Investment Management Company said it would buy the company for $2.2 billion. L4N2Q92J1

Reporting by Noel Randewich; Additional reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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