Midday Report: US Stocks Mixed While Yields Slip After Surprise Drop in ISM Manufacturing Index in April

Monday, May 3, 2021 1:29 PM | MT Newswires

US stocks were mixed, with Nasdaq trading lower, and government bond yields fell after a closely watched manufacturing gauge reported a surprise drop in April while construction spending in the US increased by less than expected in the previous month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped by 284.06 points, or 0.8%, to 34,158.91. S&P 500 was higher by 0.4% to 4,197.28 but Nasdaq declined by 0.4% to 13,914.08. Energy and materials were among the biggest gainers, while consumer discretionary was the steepest decliner.

The US 10-year yield fell by 1.9 basis points to more than 1.61%.

The West Texas Intermediate futures climbed by 1.1% to $64.27 and gold jumped by $24.70 per troy ounce to $1,792.40

The Institute for Supply Management's US manufacturing index fell to 60.7 in April from 64.7 in March, compared with expectations for a further small increase to a reading of 65 in a survey compiled by Bloomberg.

US construction spending rose by 0.2% in March, well below the 1.7% increase expected in a survey compiled by Bloomberg and following an upwardly revised 0.6% decrease in February.

In company news, Baker Hughes (BKR) rose 8.3% intraday, the most on S&P 500, after Barclays raised its rating for the drill-rig company to overweight from equal-weight and increased its price target by $3 to $28 apiece.

Estee Lauder (EL) reported reported a 15.2% year-over-year increase in fiscal Q3 sales, rising to $3.86 billion but still lagging the Capital IQ consensus expecting $3.94 billion. Shares slumped by 8.1%, the worst performer on S&P 500.

Moderna (MRNA) rose by 4.7%, the top performer on Nasdaq, after a deal with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to supply up to 500 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine at its "lowest tiered price." The biggest laggard in the index was Okta (OKTA), with shares down 3.4%, after it said an all-stock deal valued at about $6.5 billion to acquire identity platform Auth0 has been closed.

In the precious metals markets, silver was up 4.6% to $27.05 an ounce and copper rose by 1.3% to $4.53 per pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund rose 1.5% to $43.94 and the United States Natural Gas Fund was up 0.2% to $10.53. Among precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was up 4% to $35.73 and SPDR Gold Shares were up 1.3% to $167.83. The iShares Silver Trust was up 3.9% to $24.97.

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