Wall Street takes a breather, Treasury yields dip as eyes turn to Fed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks paused near the previous session’s record closing highs and Treasury yields inched lower on Tuesday as investors took stock of recent upbeat data and looked to the Federal Reserve for its economic outlook.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 1, 2021. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

On Wall Street, stocks that stand to benefit most from a reopening economy – cyclicals, small caps, transports – were outperforming the broader market.

This suggests market participants are optimistic about an economic rebound – and corporate earnings – fueled by vaccine distribution, stimulus and a robust infrastructure bill being debated in Washington.

“Investors are taking a breather and looking ahead to earnings, and that’s a pattern that we see almost every earnings season,” said Oliver Pursche, president of Bronson Meadows Capital Management in Fairfield, Connecticut.

“The economic picture has greatly improved in the last three months,” Pursche added. “There’s a general sense globally that things are improving and will get better rapidly.”

Friday’s blockbuster U.S. jobs report was followed on Monday by PMI data showing the services sector’s fastest expansion on record. This was followed by a PMI report from China that confirmed activity in its services sector is accelerating.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to release the minutes from its last monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, and market participants will parse it for any changes to the central bank’s economic outlook.

“(Investors are) going to be looking for little change, a continued supportive and accommodative Fed that sees little risk from inflation and ideally an improved outlook on economic growth,” Pursche said.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13.63 points, or 0.04%, to 33,513.56, the S&P 500 gained 4.8 points, or 0.12%, to 4,082.71 and the Nasdaq Composite added 34.25 points, or 0.25%, to 13,739.85.

European markets returned after Monday’s holiday to follow Wall Street to record highs as data indicated a swift economic recovery from the global health crisis.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.74% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.31%.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.59%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.66% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.30%.

U.S. Treasury yields dipped, with 5-year notes leading the decline, on investor views that market pricing based on an earlier-than-expected tightening by the Federal Reserve was too aggressive.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 16/32 in price to yield 1.6649%, from 1.72% late on Monday.

The 30-year bond last rose 26/32 in price to yield 2.3222%, from 2.363% late on Monday.

The dollar reversed early gains against a basket of world currencies, extending a soft start to April for the greenback.

The dollar index fell 0.65%, with the euro up 0.22% to $1.1837.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.39% versus the greenback at 109.77 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3852, down 0.32% on the day.

Crude oil prices were lifted by strong data from China, partly recovering from the previous session’s losses as pandemic-related volatility dominates the market.

U.S. crude rose 3.55% to $60.73 per barrel and Brent was last at $64.10, up 3.14% on the day.

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Gold prices touched their highest level in more than a week, benefiting from the soft dollar and lower Treasury yields.

Spot gold added 0.8% to $1,742.66 an ounce.

Reporting by Stephen Culp; additional reporting by Ritvik Carvalho

Source: Reuters

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