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S&P 500 Pulls Back Off Yesterday's Record Closing High

wallstreet oct15 30apr21 lt

Stocks have moved mostly lower in morning trading on Friday, giving back ground following the advance seen in the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the downside, although selling pressure appears somewhat subdued.

Currently, the major averages are all in negative territory, but the Nasdaq is down just 10.37 points or 0.1 percent at 14,072.18. The Dow is down 145.63 points or 0.4 percent at 33,914.73 and the S&P 500 is down 16.20 points or 0.4 percent at 4,195.27.

The early weakness on Wall Street may partly reflect profit taking after the upward move seen on Thursday lifted the S&P 500 to a new record closing high.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq also reached a record intraday high during yesterday's trading but pulled back and ended the session only modestly higher.

A steep drop by shares of Twitter (TWTR) is also weighing on the markets, with the social media giant plunging by 12.7 percent.

The nosedive by Twitter comes after the company reported better than expected first quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.

On the other hand, shares of Amazon (AMZN) have moved to the upside after the online retail giant reported first quarter earnings that far exceeded analyst estimates.

Another batch of upbeat U.S. economic data has helped limit the downside for the markets, with a report from the Commerce Department showing personal income skyrocketed in March amid the distribution of another round of stimulus checks.

The Commerce Department said personal income soared by 21.1 percent in March after plunging by a revised 7.0 percent in February.

Economists had expected personal income to spike by 20.3 percent compared to the 7.1 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

The report also showed personal spending jumped by 4.2 percent in March following a 1.0 percent decrease in February. Personal spending was expected to surge up by 4.1 percent.

A separate report from the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by more than initially estimated in the month of April.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for April was upwardly revised to 88.3 from a preliminary reading of 86.5. Economists had expected the index to be upwardly revised to 87.5.

The consumer sentiment index rose from 84.9 in March to reach its highest level since hitting 89.1 in March of 2020.

Housing stocks are turning in some of the worst performances in morning trading, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 2.2 percent.

The index is pulling back after ending the previous session at its best closing level since a two-for-one split in early 2006.

Significant weakness has also emerged among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent drop by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) is posting a steep loss after the chipmaker reported better than expected fiscal second quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.

Networking, oil and steel stocks are also seeing notable weakness on the day, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index and China's Shanghai Composite Index both slid by 0.8 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have shown a lack of direction over the course of the morning. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 1.635 percent.

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