Wall Street ends up without much change, techs and rates have weighed


by Sruthi Shankar, and Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street ended almost unchanged on Monday, the hopes of investors on the publications of results of the first quarter, offsetting in large part the decline in technology stocks and rising long-term yields.

On the bond market, the yield on Treasuries to 10 was a scant 3 per cent, a symbolic threshold that was not crossed for more than four years, before returning to 2,9752%.

The tension on the long-term rates is the result of increased financing needs of the u.s. Treasury, and a rise in inflation expectations fuelled by the recent rise of oil and raw materials.

If the rise in yields is generally a liability for the stock markets, investors also rely on the robustness of results to support the indices.

“If we reach this level (3%), this will not be too negative for investors because the published results were rather good and that is what it takes for shares to continue to climb,” said Jeff Kravetz, a strategist at USBank Wealth Management.

It is estimated that the bond will not constitute an alternative to the shares as the yields on 10-years will not have passed the threshold of 4%.

The Dow Jones has ended in a decline of 14.25 points (0.06 per cent) to 24.448,69.

The S&P-500, wider, has gained 0.15 points, almost unchanged, to 2.670,29.

The Nasdaq Composite fell on his side of 17,52 points (-0,25%) 7.128,60.

This week is particularly dense in the publications business, since 181 groups entering into the composition of the S&P-500 are required to publish their accounts, including the Alphabet, the mother house of Google (NASDAQ:GOOGLE), at the closing date.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Miscrosoft, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) will publish also in the week, while technology stocks continue to suffer from the effects of signs of a weaker demand for smartphones.

The index of technology stocks finished down 0.4% and the index Philadelphia Semiconductor has sold 1,33%, recording a fourth session of declines.

Hasbro has ended up by nearly 4%, erasing its initial losses. The toy manufacturer has estimated that the negative impact of filing for bankruptcy of the distributor toys’r’us, which has led to results below expectations in the first quarter, would be transient.

Its competitor Mattel takes 6.3% and achieved the second highest increase in the S&P-500.

Merck (NYSE:MRK) gained 2.4% after Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has raised its recommendation on the pharmaceutical company to “buy”.

Producers of aluminium have been heavily sanctioned in reaction to the falling price of the metal after Washington opened the door Monday to an easing of sanctions against the Russian giant of the sector, Rusal.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) has dropped 13.5%, while Arconic has fallen 5.2%, posting the largest decline of the S&P-500.

The price of aluminum, which has lost up to 10% after the announcement of the u.s. department of Treasury, has weighed on other industrial raw materials and momentarily on the oil.

Oil prices have erased their losses and finished higher on the Nymex, despite statements of the minister of iranian oil, according to which an extension of the agreement to reduce the production agreed between Opec countries and countries outside the cartel, including Russia, would not be necessary if the price per barrel continued its progression

The contract may on the light crude to u.s. West Texas Intermediate, WTI) is gaining 52 cents, 0.76%, at 68,92 dollars per barrel. The contract of the same maturity on the barrel of Brent takes 95 cents (1,28%) 74.99 usd.

The dollar remained supported by the strong long-term returns in the United States, its index against six other major currencies rose 0.70% to 90,95. The euro fell 0.64 per cent to 1,2207 dollar.

(Marc Joanny for French service)

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