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S&P 500 rises for a third straight day to end a wild week of trading

S&P 500 rises for a third straight day to end a wild week of trading

24 Sep 2021

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were near flat on Friday, wrapping up a volatile week on Wall Street. A move by China to ban cryptocurrencies weighed on the technology sector and Nike shares fell as supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic hit the sneaker giant.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 15 points, or 0.04%. The S&P 500 edged 0.06% higher and the Nasdaq Composite shed about 0.2%.

“As bad as things started off on Monday for stocks, a mid-week bounce and calm on Friday isn’t so bad,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial. “Still, many of the worries over Evergrande, a slowing economy, and continued supply chain issues are still out there.”

A crackdown on bitcoin by China hurt market sentiment overnight, especially with technology shares that depend on crypto-related revenue. China’s central bank declared all cryptocurrency related activities illegal on Friday. Overseas crypto exchanges providing services in mainland China are also illegal, the PBOC said.

Bitcoin dropped 5% and ether lost nearly 8% in reaction. Crypto-exchange Coinbase, which derives most of its revenue from retail trading, lost more than 1.7%. Robinhood, which last quarter made more than half of its transaction-related revenue from crypto, shed more than 2%.

Meanwhile Nike validated the fears of investors worried about the pandemic wreaking havoc with supply chains and raising costs for companies, especially multinationals. Nike shares fell over 6% after the sneaker giant lowered its fiscal 2022 outlook because of a prolonged production shutdown in Vietnam, labor shortages and lengthy transit times. Nike expects full-year sales to rise at a mid-single-digit pace, compared to low double-digit growth it forecast before.

The company also reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ expectations due to softening demand in North America as the delta variant flared up. Other apparel makers and retailers fell. Under Armour shed about 2%.

Within the S&P, Nike’s decline was offset by gains in reopening stocks. Carnival Corp led the index with a 4% increase after reporting quarterly earnings, while other cruise lines and air carriers rose about 3%. Energy and industrial stocks were also leaders. Mosaic and Nucorp added about 3%. Diamondback Energy rose 3% and Cabot Oil & Gas gained 2.5%.

It’s been a topsy-turvy week for markets. Stocks staged a two-day relief rally beginning on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled no imminent removal of its ultra-easy monetary policy. Investors also bet that the debt crisis of China’s real estate giant Evergrande wouldn’t trigger a ripple effect across global markets.

The blue-chip Dow advanced 500 points on Thursday for its best daily performance since July 20. The S&P 500 gained 1.2%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1%.

Investors were still waiting to see if Evergrande, the failing developer at the center of the property crisis in the country, will pay $83 million in interest on a U.S. dollar-denominated bond that was due Thursday. The company so far is staying silent and has 30 days before it technically defaults.

Concerns about Evergrande hit global markets to start the week with the Dow shedding more than 600 points on Monday.

“If Evergrande fails, the exposure outside of China appears limited, and since the government will do whatever it takes to contain it,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “If China is successful, global risk appetite may not be dealt that much of a blow.”

The Nasdaq was underperforming the major averages for the week on Friday, after each of them ended in the green Thursday and clawed back their losses from earlier in the week. The Nasdaq is down 0.4% for the week while the Dow and S&P are up 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively.

Chinese stocks including Pinduoduo, JD.com and Baidu were among the Nasdaq’s biggest decliners.

The dominant theme for the rest of the year will be falling Covid cases globally and economic acceleration, said Bill Callahan, an investment strategist at Schroders.

“Cyclical stocks in the energy, financial, industrial and travel sectors will reassert themselves as market leaders into year end,” he said, while “longer maturity global bond yields will push much higher, steepening global yield curves as investors embrace growth assets.”