The Business Times

US: Dow Jones retreats from record despite strong consumer data

Published Wed, Mar 31, 2021 · 06:02 AM

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks pulled back on Tuesday, with the Dow retreating from a record, despite strong consumer confidence data as US Treasury yields continued to climb.

The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence jumped to 109.7 in March, up from 90.4 in February, in its best reading since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey pointed to improved sentiment on business conditions and employment prospects in the wake of passage of President Joe Biden's US$1.9 trillion economic relief package and as the White House discusses plans for a big new package on infrastructure spending.

But the yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond continued to climb, amplifying worries of higher inflation that could spur aggressive policy changes by the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 per cent to 33,066.96.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.3 per cent to 3,958.55, while the tech-rich Nasdaq composite Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 13,045.39.

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Despite the declines, the indices finished well above their session highs.

"The markets appeared to take a wait-and-see approach as tomorrow is expected to bring some much anticipated infrastructure spending details and insight into what potential tax changes may also accompany President Biden's plan," said a note from Charles Schwab.

Large technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Facebook all fell about one per cent or more.

But companies from beaten-down sectors, such as hotel chain Marriott International and cruise company Carnival, pushed higher.

AFP

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