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Dow Notches Fifth Straight Record High

NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - The blue-chip Dow powered to its fifth consecutive record high on Friday as investors bought shares that should benefit from a strong reopening of the U.S. economy, an outlook signaled by rising yields in the bond market.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq tumbled after rebounding more than 6% over the past three sessions and the S&P 500 closed flat after hitting an all-time high the prior session as rising Treasury yields revived inflation concerns.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 posted their best week in five after President Joe Biden signed into law on Thursday one of the largest U.S. fiscal stimulus bills and data reinforced convictions the economy was headed to a high-growth recovery.

The recent rise in U.S. Treasury yields has raised fears of a sudden tapering of monetary stimulus and put downward pressure on Wall Street in recent weeks.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year note hit 1.642% on Friday, the highest level since February of last year.

The rising Dow and tumbling Nasdaq reflect an ongoing sell-off in tech as investors buy cyclical and underpriced value stocks that are expected to do well as the economy recovers.

For tech stocks to continue to flourish you need low rates, and in effect slower growth, said Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member of hedge fund Great Hill Capital LLC.

But with the stimulus package the economy is likely to expand 7% to 9% this year and pressure interest rates, he said.

“That’s why you’re seeing rates rise today because the reopening is happening faster and stronger than anticipated. And that’s when value and cyclicals and economically sensitive stocks outperform,” Hayes said.

The speedy distribution of vaccines and more fiscal aid have spurred concerns of rising inflation despite assurances from the Federal Reserve to maintain an accommodative policy. All eyes will be on the central bank’s policy meeting next week for further cues on inflation.

U.S. consumer sentiment improved in early March to its strongest in a year, a survey by the University of Michigan showed on Friday.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 291.74 points, or 0.9%, to 32,777.33, the S&P 500 gained 3.98 points, or 0.10%, to 3,943.32 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 78.81 points, or 0.59%, to 13,319.87.

The Nasdaq has been particularly hit by the sell-off in recent weeks and confirmed a correction at the start of the week as investors swapped richly valued technology stocks with those of energy, mining and industrial companies that are poised to benefit more from an economic rebound.

Value stocks rose while growth stocks slumped in a continuation of a rotation that began late last year.

The high-flying but yield-sensitive group of stocks including of Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, Inc, Netflix Inc, Google-parent Alphabet Inc , Tesla Inc and Microsoft Corp, which fueled the past’s year rally, fell.

Tech, communication services and consumer discretionary indexes, which house these mega-cap stocks, slipped the most among major S&P sectors.

The bank index jumped, while financials and industrials clinched new record levels.

Ulta Beauty Inc fell after the cosmetics retailer forecast annual revenue below estimates, as demand for make-up products were under pressure due to extended work-from-home policies.

U.S.-listed shares of China-based Inc slid after three sources said it is in talks to buy part or all of a stake in brokerage Sinolink Securities worth at least $1.5 billion.

Reporting by Herbert Lash in New York Additional reporting by Medha Singh, Shashank Nayar and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru Editing by Maju Samuel and Matthew Lewis

Source: Reuters

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