Stocks trade mixed; banks, energy sectors gain, tech falls

By DAMIAN J. TROISE

Stocks were mixed on Wall Street Monday as technology stocks fell and offset gains for banks and energy companies.

The S&P 500 index fell 0.1% as of 11:15 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 156 points, or 0.5%, to 34,956 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.5%.

The benchmark S&P 500 had more gainers than losers. Banks made solid gains as bond yields continued climbing, which allows them to charge higher interest rates on loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.48% from 1.46% late Friday. Bank of America gained 2.4%.

Oil prices rose 1.7% and supported gains for energy stocks. Exxon Mobil rose 2.6%.

The technology sector, which carries an outsized weight within the S&P 500, slumped 0.9% overall. Apple fell 1.1% and Microsoft fell 1.3%.

A measure of small-company stocks did better than the major indexes in a sign that investors were still confident about future economic growth. The Russell 2000 index rose 1.7%.

Markets have had a choppy month so far and the S&P 500 is on pace to shed 1.6% in September, which would mark the first monthly loss since January. Investors have been trying to gauge just how much room the economy has to grow amid waves of COVID-19 crimping consumer spending and job growth while inflation remains a concern.

The economic recovery started strong in 2021, but analysts and economists have been tempering their forecasts for the rest of the year. In a survey being released Monday, the National Association for Business Economics found that its panel now expects full-year economic growth of 5.6%, down from a forecast for 6.7% growth in NABE’s previous survey in May. However, economists raised their forecast for 2022 economic growth to 3.5% from a previous outlook of 2.8%.

Consumer spending has been the key driver for the economic recovery and it has been crimped in part by rising cases of COVID-19 because of the highly contagious delta variant. Investors will get a glimpse into how that could continue to play out on Tuesday when The Conference Board releases its consumer confidence index for September.

Investors have been facing an otherwise quiet period for corporate news as companies prepare to start reporting their latest quarterly financial results in the next few weeks.

Markets in Europe edged higher while Asian markets were mixed.

FILE – Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, July 19, 2021. Stocks are off to a mixed start on Wall Street Monday, Sept. 27, 2021 as gains for banks and energy companies are checked by drops in the technology sector. The S&P 500 was off 0.4% in the early going, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4%, however, and a measure of small-company stocks was also higher. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

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