US stocks split as financials gain, techs lose

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street finished mixed on Monday (July 3), with the blue-chip Dow and the S&P both a hair’s breadth below record closes while faltering tech stocks took the Nasdaq lower.

The split directions continued the recent trend of investors rotating out of the sky-high tech stocks and into the financial sector.

In a shortened trading session ahead of the July 4 holiday, the Dow Jones Industrial average gained nearly 130 points to close up 0.6 per cent at 21,479.27, while the broader S&P 500 rose 0.2 per cent to 2,429.01.

But the tech-heavy Nasdaq dove 0.5 per cent to 6,110.06.

Wall Street behemoths Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase were among the Dow’s leaders, each adding more than two percent.

Art Hogan of Wunderlich Securities told AFP said banks were boosted by rising yields on 10-year US Treasury bonds.

“That is helping the financials,” he said, noting that oil prices also brought investors some relief, with crude prices up for an eighth consecutive day.“The price today is much better for people at next to US$47 than two weeks ago at US$43.”

Oil stocks also got a boost.

Supermajors Chevron and Exxon gained 1.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, oil field services giant Baker Hughes jumped 5.8 per cent after merging with the oil and gas services operation of engineering giant General Electric, which also finished up 1.6 per cent.

Car sales figures released on Monday showed sales continued to decline in June but remained robust, with soaring sales of larger and pricier SUVs and trucks at the start of the summer driving season.

Shares of Ford added 3.3 per cent, and General Motors rose 1.8 per cent, even though each saw 5 per cent decline in sales last month.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla, however, closed down 2.5 per cent, with investors giving a somber reception to Monday’s announcement the company would begin rolling out the new moderately-priced Model 3 on Friday, two weeks ahead of schedule.

The stock initially gained on the news, suggesting investors may have decided to take advantage of the high share price to sell at a profit.