The end of one of the best first halves since 1998 for U.S. stocks is being marked by small moves and slow trading. Despite strong labor and housing data, concern about high valuations and the spread of a more contagious coronavirus variant weighed on sentiment. The S&P 500 fluctuated Wednesday, while still heading toward its fifth straight monthly advance. It has surged 14% so far in 2021. Treasuries, which have surprisingly beaten the world’s biggest bond markets since the Federal Reserve’s hawkish tilt in June, rose.
Investors are assessing hopes for an imminent return to normalcy amid worries that runaway inflation or further Covid-19 restrictions could derail the economic rebound. Interestingly enough, companies that stand to benefit the most from a recovery in activity — like energy, industrial and financial shares — rose on Wednesday, beating the tech giants that had fueled the stay-at-home trade.
The S&P 500 was little changed as of 11:46 a.m. New York timeThe Nasdaq 100 fell 0.1%The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.8%The MSCI World index fell 0.3%
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.3%The euro fell 0.4% to $1.1846The British pound fell 0.2% to $1.3807The Japanese yen fell 0.5% to 111.04 per dollar
The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points to 1.44%Germany’s 10-year yield declined three basis points to -0.20%Britain’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 0.72%
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4% to $73.29 a barrelGold futures rose 0.1% to $1,765.50 an ounce