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S&P, Dow Gain as Energy, Financials Recoup Recent Losses

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones indexes rose on Wednesday, with sectors such as energy and financials recovering some of their losses in recent sessions, although a slowing economic recovery and uncertainty over higher taxes kept sentiment subdued.

The S&P 500 rose from a more than three-week low, while the Dow came off a near two-month trough.

Economically sensitive sectors such as energy were the best performers in early trade, rising 3.4% as oil prices gained on data showing a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories. [O/R]

Economically sensitive sectors such as energy were the best performers in early trade, rising 3.4% as oil prices gained on data showing a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories. [O/R]

Financial stocks, particularly big banks, also rose 0.6% after widely underperforming their peers on Tuesday.

The Nasdaq lagged its peers on losses in major technology stocks. But the index has fared relatively better than its peers this month, with investors switching to reliable tech heavyweights amid seasonally weak trends for stocks.

Wall Street indexes had fallen on Tuesday as investors fretted over the potential impact of a tax hike on corporate profits.

While signs of cooling inflation have made early tapering by the Federal Reserve seem unlikely, they have also raised the question of when exactly the central bank would begin scaling back its massive pandemic-induced stimulus plan.

“It’s just a softening of economic activity, not just in the U.S. but globally ... we still have the COVID Delta variant that’s causing problems in a lot of areas,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

“We were at all-time highs just a week-and-a-half ago, the market tends to be sensitive to any kind of news, any kind of bad economic data when it’s at all-time highs.”

At 09:59 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110.21 points, or 0.32% , to 34,687.78, the S&P 500 gained 10.83 points, or 0.24 %, to 4,453.88 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 12.01 points, or 0.08 %, to 15,025.75.

U.S.-listed Chinese stocks extended recent losses, as weak retail sales data pointed to a possible economic slowdown in the mainland.

A growing debt crisis in the country’s No. 2 property developer, China Evergrande Group, has raised fears of a possible impact to major lenders.

“The Asian banks will get hit hard if there’s a default, but then there will be a 10-year recovery process. The market’s getting a hang of it. The way they’ve managed the news flow seems quite clever. They haven’t let a swathe of bad news at once,” said Keith Temperton, sales trader at Forte Securities.

Concerns over Evergrande’s default have further dented appetite for Chinese stocks after a series of regulatory moves by Beijing against major technology firms wiped out billions in market value this year.

Apple Inc fell 0.6% after tumbling 1% in the last session on a somewhat lukewarm response to the unveiling of its Phone 13 and a new iPad mini.

Among other movers, lending platform GreenSky Inc shot up more than 50% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc said it will buy the firm in an all-stock deal valued at $2.24 billion.

Goldman Sachs shares fell 1%, lagging their banking peers.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.6-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a about a 1.2-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted no new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 27 new highs and 64 new lows.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Maju Samuel

Source: Reuters

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