Bank, healthcare stocks pressure S&P; Nasdaq hits record

Traders work on the floor of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on May 29, 2018.
Traders work on the floor of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on May 29, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Declines in financial and healthcare stocks weighed on the S&P 500 and Dow on Tuesday (June 5), while strong gains in tech heavyweights lifted the Nasdaq to a record intra-day high.

Amazon rose 1.2 per cent and Apple edged up 0.6 per cent, leading gains in the S&P consumer discretionary index and technology index, the top gainers among the major S&P sectors so far this year.

Another bright spot was Twitter, whose shares jumped 5.2 per cent after the social media company joined the benchmark S&P 500 US index, while Netflix rose 1.2 per cent after entering the S&P 100 index.

Still, investors are wary about trade discussions, with Mexico on Tuesday imposing wide-ranging tariffs on American products ranging from steel to pork and bourbon in response to US President Donald Trump's metals tariffs.

Shares of US food companies Kellogg and General Mills fell more than 2 per cent, while shares of AK Steel and US Steel also dropped about 1.5 per cent.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump may seek separate talks with Canada and Mexico in a bid to get individual trade deals with the two countries.

"We're in a trading range, a lot of that has to do with the fatigue factor of investors trying to digest multiple macro news, ranging from Italian elections to tariff talks," said Matt Lloyd, chief investment strategist at Advisors Asset Management in Monument, Colorado.

"With the fundamentals, everything that you see right now is better for the long term, but a lot of investors are cautious if this is going to continue." US services sector activity accelerated in May, pointing to robust economic growth in the second quarter, while another set of data showed job openings rising to a record high in April, far outpacing hiring.

At 13:12 ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 34.48 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 24,779.21, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 2,746.87 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 17.42 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 7,623.88.

Bank of America, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs dropped more than 0.7 per cent, dragging the S&P financial index down more than 0.5 per cent.

Amgen fell 2.3 per cent and pulled the S&P healthcare index lower after Mylan got regulatory approval for a biosimilar.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.39-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 44 new 52-week highs and eight new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 195 new highs and 27 new lows.