US stocks finish slightly higher on wobbly day

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Wall Street capped a wobbly day for stocks with modest gains Monday, nudging the major indexes further into record territory, AP reports.

The S&P 500 shrugged off an early slide and gained by 0.2 percent. Consumer-oriented companies, banks and energy and communications stocks helped lift the market. Those gains were kept in check by a pullback in health care and technology companies. Treasury yields mostly rose.

The modest gains follow a turbulent week for the market. A week ago, stocks fell sharply amid worries that fast-spreading variants of the coronavirus could threaten the economic recovery. But the swoon was short-lived, and the major stock indexes rallied to record highs on Friday.

Trading was more muted Monday, as investors monitored a steady flow of corporate earnings and looked ahead to Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve is due to deliver an update on the economy and its interest rate policy.

Traders will be listening for clues as to when the central bank might start winding down its extraordinary support measures for the economy and how concerned it is about inflation.

“The mood still revolves around inflation and whether it is transitory or not,” said Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.

The S&P 500 won 10.51 points, at 4,422.30. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained by  82.76 points, or 0.2 percent, at 35,144.31. The Nasdaq composite added 3.72 points, or less than 0.1 percent, at 14,840.71.

Smaller companies fared slightly better than the broader market. The Russell 2000 index won 7.27 points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,216.92.

Cruise lines, hotels and retailers were among the winners. Carnival climbed by 5.5 percent, Caesars Entertainment added 3.3 percent and Gap added 3 percent.

Among stocks that lost ground: drugmaker Moderna slid by 3.7 percent and chipmaker Nvidia fell by 1.4 percent..