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Stock Market News for Oct 25, 2021

The Dow ended at a record high on Friday, its best milestone since August, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended in negative territory as tech stocks came under pressure after not-so-impressive earnings reports from some big names. Also, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments on plans of tapering the stimulus somewhat kept stocks in check from making gains.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.2% or 73.94 points to finish at a record high of 35,677.02 points. This is the blue-chip index’s first record close since Aug 16.

The S&P 500 slid 0.1% or 4.88 points to end at 4,544.90 points. Communication services stocks were the worst performer. The Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) shed 2.1%, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) declined 0.4%.

However, the Financials Select Sector SPDR (XLF) and Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gained 1.4% and 0.9%, respectively. Seven the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 0.8% or 125.50 points to close at 15,090.20 points. Shares of Apple, Inc. AAPL and Microsoft Corporation MSFT declined 0.5% each. Microsoft has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 2.80% to 15.43. A total of 11.03 billion shares were traded on Friday, higher than the last 20-session average of 10.38 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.08-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.30-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Tech Stocks Come Under Pressure

The third-quarter earnings season so far has been good that has given investors’ confidence a boost. Impressive results by banks helped lift the Dow on Thursday. The upbeat sentiment continued on Friday for some time but disappointing results from big names in the tech sector dented investors’ confidence.

Shares of Intel Corporation INTC tumbled 11.7% after the company reported weaker than expected sales in its last quarter. Shares of Snap, Inc. SNAP plummeted 26.6% after the company forecast weaker-than-expected holiday season and said that it advertising revenues declined due to Apple’s privacy changes.

This saw other tech stocks also taking a hit, with social media giants like Facebook, Inc. FB and Twitter, Inc. TWTR suffering the most.

Powell’s Comments Make Investors Speculate

The S&P 500 and Dow started Friday on a high. Although the Dow managed to hold on to the gains and finish at a record high, the S&P 500 slipped following Powell’s comments.

The Fed Chair was speaking for the Bank for International Settlements wherein he said that the U.S. labor market could reach “maximum employment” in 2022. Investors tried to decipher the meaning of this by getting an understanding that Powell’s comments mean the central bank may not like raise interest rates soon.

Economic Data

In economic data, IHS Markit’s survey of senior business executives in service-oriented companies bounced back to a three-month high of 58.2 in October from 54.9 in the previous month. However, a similar survey of manufacturers fell to 59.2 from 60.7 in September.

Weekly Roundup

Although some tech companies have come up with disappointing earnings report, it has been a terrific earnings season so far. Optimism surrounding this has been helping markets, with all the three major indexes finishing the week higher for the third straight week.

The Dow ended the week gaining 1.1%. The S&P 500 added 1.6%, while the Nasdaq was up 1.3%.

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