Both the TSX and Nasdaq closed at record highs on Tuesday, even as the S&P 500 snapped a seven-day winning streak and oil prices tumbled from multi-year highs. Bond prices rose, with the benchmark 10-year U.S. treasury note yield seeing its longest streak of daily declines in 16 months.
Investors are looking for clues on the Federal Reserve’s policy path, and on Tuesday, had to absorb fresh U.S. data signaling that the service sector is expanding at a slower pace.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed up 18.57 points, or 0.09%, at 20,300.03. The benchmark was able to post a positive session thanks to a 1.53% rally in tech stocks, as investors tend to gravitate to the sector when bond yields decline and uncertainty arises about the durability of the economic rebound. Heavyweight Shopify rose 5.63%.
But energy stocks were in sharp descent as oil prices lost more than 2%. The TSX energy sector was down nearly 3%.
The Canadian dollar fell by the most in four months as investors wondered whether a peak is already nearing in the global economic rebound. China’s latest tech crackdown and expectations of a hawkish Fed report on Wednesday also waved red flags at investors.
With risks percolating, “it seems like the winning streak has snapped,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the Americas at OANDA.
A gauge of activity from the Institute for Supply Management on the U.S. services sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity, showed moderate growth in June, down from the record pace in May.
The data comes on the heels of Friday’s employment report, which was viewed by many as showing an improving labor market, but not enough to signal an economy that may be prone to overheating.
The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes was down 6.4 basis points to 1.368%. The yield hit a low of 1.352%, its lowest since Feb. 24 and the sixth straight session of declines.
The Canada 10-year government bond yield also hit its lowest since late February, at 1.319%.
Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates Inc., an investment advisory firm based in Toledo, Ohio, said investors may be taking profits after a strong end of the quarter and string of recent records.
“It was such a good quarter end,” he said. Now, “cyclicals are really getting hit.”
With Treasury yields down, “investors may be worried the economy might not be a good as the stock market was showing,” he said.
The S&P 500 growth index also hit a record high on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 value index was down.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 204.9 points, or 0.59%, to 34,581.45, the S&P 500 lost 8.74 points, or 0.20%, to 4,343.6 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.32 points, or 0.17%, to 14,663.64.
Didi Global shares fell after Chinese regulators ordered over the weekend the company’s app be taken down days after its $4.4 billion listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Other U.S.-listed Chinese e-commerce firms, including Alibaba Group also fell.
Oil prices tumbled in a volatile session after OPEC producers canceled a meeting when major players were unable to come to an agreement to increase supply.
Brent crude settled down $2.63 a barrel, or 3.4%, to $74.53, after hitting a session peak of $77.84, its highest since October 2018.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled down $1.79, or 2.4%, to $73.37 after touching $76.98, highest since November 2014.
On Monday, ministers from OPEC+, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers, abandoned talks after negotiations failed to close divisions between Saudi Arabia, the largest OPEC producer, and United Arab Emirates.
Initially, oil rallied on news of the breakdown in talks, but prices retreated as traders focused on the possibility that the strife will cause some national producers to open the taps and start exporting more barrels.
“The market is concerned that the UAE will step in and unilaterally add barrels and other people in OPEC will follow suit,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
The United Arab Emirates said it would go along with output increases but rejected a separate proposal to extend curbs to the end of 2022 from an existing April deadline.
Some OPEC+ sources said they still believed the group would resume discussions this month and agree to pump more from August, though others said current curbs might remain in place.
The White House said Tuesday it was closely monitoring talks by OPEC+ and was “encouraged” after conversations with officials in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
No date for further talks has been announced.
With files from Reuters
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