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Beyond the Numbers

Tech Stocks May Come Under Pressure Amid Increase In Treasury Yields
3/30/2021 8:50 AM

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a lower open on Tuesday, with stocks likely to see initial weakness following the mixed performance seen in the previous session.

A continued jump in U.S. treasury yields is likely to weigh on technology stocks, resulting in a continued drop by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

The yield on the benchmark ten-year note has risen to its highest levels in over a year amid optimism about the coronavirus vaccine rollouts and the economy reopening.

Trading activity may remain somewhat subdued, however, with traders looking ahead to the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report on Friday.

The closely watched Labor Department report will be released on Friday even though the markets will be closed for Good Friday.

U.S. stocks closed mixed after a somewhat volatile session on Monday, as the mood remained a bit cautious amid news about a large hedge fund defaulting on a margin call.

Hedge fund Archegos Capital reportedly failed to meet its margin call obligations, prompting banks to sell more than $20 billion worth of shares in margin call on Friday.

The major averages ended mixed. The Dow, which hit a fresh high at 33,259.00, ended the session at 33,171.37 with a gain of 98.49 points or 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq settled at 13,059.65, losing 7.08 points or 0.6 percent, while the S&P 500 edged down 3.45 points or 0.1 percent to 3,971.09.

Boeing (BA) rallied about 2.3 percent on news that Southwest Airlines has agreed to buy 100 Boeing 737 Max 7 planes.

Procter & Gamble (PG), Amgen (AMGN), Coca-Cola (KO), Verizon (VZ) and Walmart (WMT) also ended notably higher.

Meanwhile, financial giants JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and American Express (AXP) ended the session lower.

Commodity, Currency Markets

Crude oil futures are sliding $0.84 to $60.72 a barrel after rising $0.59 to $61.56 a barrel on Monday. Meanwhile, after tumbling $20.10 to $1,714.60 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are plunging $32.50 to $1,682.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 110.33 yen compared to the 109.81 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Monday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1730 compared to yesterday’s $1.1765.

Asia

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Tuesday as investors await U.S. President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan to be announced on Wednesday, which is seen valued at around $3-$4 trillion.

Chinese shares rose notably as upbeat corporate earnings outweighed lingering Sino-U.S. tensions and expectations of liquidity tightening.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 21.38 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,456.68, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended up 239.20 points, or 0.8 percent, at 28,577.50.

Japanese shares finished slightly higher as the dollar climbed to a one-year high against the yen amid a spike in Treasury yields. The Nikkei 225 Index reversed an early slide to end up 48.18 points, or 0.2 percent, at 29,432.70, while the broader Topix closed 0.8 percent lower at 1,977.86.

Nikkei heavyweight and Uniqlo clothing shop operator Fast Retailing climbed 3.2 percent, airline ANA Holdings gained 3.5 percent and transport company Kawasaki Kisen jumped 5.2 percent, while financials ended broadly lower amid fears that global banks could lose more than $6 billion from the downfall of Archegos Capital.

Nomura Holdings ended down 0.7 percent after plunging as much as 16 percent in the previous session.

Investors shrugged off official data showing that the total value of retail sales in Japan fell an annual 1.5 percent in February. The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.9 percent in February, unchanged from the January reading.

Australian markets fell for a second day as Queensland reported eight new local Covid-19 cases linked to two clusters. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 61.10 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,738.40, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 66.60 points, or 1 percent, at 6,969.80.

Miners BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto fell over 2 percent despite a rebound in iron ore prices. Resolute Mining slumped 7.7 percent and Silver Lake Resources lost 5.6 percent as gold extended its biggest fall in more than three weeks.

Santos declined 1.1 percent after giving the go-ahead to its $4.7 billion Barossa gas project north of Darwin. AGL Energy tumbled 3.5 percent after the power giant said it will split off its emissions-intensive coal- and gas-fired power plants from its retailing business.

Telecom giant Telstra rose 1.2 percent to a seven-month high after a brokerage upgrade. Tech stocks such as Xero and Wisetech Global gained about 2 percent.

Seoul stocks rose sharply on strong foreign and institutional buying. The benchmark Kospi jumped 33.96 points, or 1.1 percent, to 3,070 on expectations of a quick global economic recovery from the pandemic, backed by the progress in the U.S. vaccine rollout.

Chipmaker SK Hynix and top automaker Hyundai Motor both gained about 1.9 percent, while internet portal operator Naver added 1.2 percent.

Europe

European stocks have risen on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session as investors look past concerns over a U.S. hedge fund default and rising yields to focus on the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

Dovish comments by Bank of England's policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe the previous day have also offered some support.

While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.5 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.7 percent.

Banks Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Barclays have moved to the upside on expectations they would benefit from rising bond yields.

Swiss lender Credit Suisse has also risen after falling nearly 14 percent in the previous session on news it is facing "highly significant and material" losses.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP, Rio Tinto and Glencore have also moved higher on hopes for a swifter economic recovery from the pandemic.

British postal service company Royal Mail has also jumped after announcing a one-off dividend payment.

German IT service provider Cancom SE has also rallied. After posting higher fourth-quarter revenues, the company said it expects a significant increase in gross profit and EBITDA and a very significant increase in Group EBITA for full-year 2021.

On the other hand, Imperial Brands has declined. The tobacco company stated that it remains on track to deliver full year results in line with the company's guidance with low-mid single digit organic adjusted operating profit growth at constant currency.

AstraZeneca has also fallen after Canada suspended its Covid vaccine for adults aged 55 and under because of an adverse event referred to as Vaccine-Induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia.

Spanish mobile phone mast operator Cellnex Telecom has also moved to the downside after launching a 7 billion euro ($8.23 billion) capital raise.

Uniper SE has also slid. The energy company said that its chief executive officer Andreas Schierenbeck and chief financial officer Sascha Bibert will leave the company immediately.

In economic news, Eurozone economic confidence improved more than expected in March, survey results from the European Commission showed.

The economic sentiment index climbed to 101.0 in March from 93.4 in the previous month. The score was above economists' forecast of 96.0. This was the highest reading since February 2020.

A measure of French consumer confidence climbed to 94 from 91 in February, survey data from INSEE showed earlier today as households' expectations regarding their financial situation outlook strengthened and the saving intentions hit a record high.

Economists had expected the index to remain unchanged. The latest score was the highest since December's 95 but remained below the long-term average of 100.

U.S. Economic Reports

Standard & Poor's is scheduled to release its report on home prices in major metropolitan areas in the month of January at 9 am ET.

Also at 9 am ET, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Randal Quarles is due to speak virtually about the Financial Stability Board in a Peterson Institute for International Economics discussion.

The Conference Board is scheduled to release its report on consumer confidence in the month of March at 10 am ET. The consumer confidence index is expected to climb to 96.0 in March from 91.3 in February.

At 12 pm ET, Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic is due to speak in a Zoom webinar on "The Post-Covid Economy" in a World Affairs Council of Atlanta fireside chat with Dennis Lockhart.

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams is scheduled to participate via Zoom in a moderated discussion titled "The Role Small Business Plays in Building Financial Resilience for the 50+" at 2 pm ET.

Stocks In Focus

Shares of McCormick (MKC) are moving significantly higher in pre-market trading after the spice and condiment maker reported better than expected fiscal first quarter results and raised its full-year guidance.

Review site operator Yelp (YELP) is also likely to see initial strength after Citi upgraded its rating on the company’s stock to Buy from Neutral.

On the other hand, shares of FactSet (FDS) may move to the downside after the financial information provided reported fiscal second quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates.
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