S&P 500 futures fall as tech shares got hit amid rising bond yields

FAN Editor

S&P 500 futures dipped during early morning trading on Tuesday as a jump in bond yields prompted investors to dump high-flying tech shares.

Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were little changed. S&P 500 futures fell 0.2%, while Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.6%. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix and Facebook all traded in the red in premarket. Tesla fell more than 2%.

The 10 year Treasury yield jumped 6 basis points to top 1.77%, the highest level in 14 months as vaccine rollouts and expected infrastructure spending boosted expectations of a broad economic recovery and rising inflation.

The move in futures came after the Dow closed at a record high in the previous session. The market experienced heightened volatility amid the continued fallout after a hedge fund was forced to liquidate its position in several media stocks.

ViacomCBS and Discovery both slid on Monday after registering heavy losses last week prompted by Archegos Capital Management selling large blocks of stock late last week, as reported by CNBC and other outlets.

Bank stocks also declined on Monday, with Credit Suisse and Nomura posting heavy losses after warning of “significant” hits to first-quarter results following the hedge fund’s selling.

Still, despite the recent volatility, the Dow and S&P 500 are firmly higher for the month, gaining 7.2% and 4.2%, respectively.

“The significant tailwinds propelling equities higher and the forces that have driven equities into, during, and now out of the pandemic remain,” analysts at Evercore ISI wrote in a note to clients.

“Investors seem to understand that faster growth, rising earnings growth expectations, still historically low corporate borrowing costs, and pent up consumer demand will fuel further market gains,” the firm added.

Evercore envisions the pace of gains slowing, however, with equities already pricing in a reacceleration of growth.

Small cap stocks have been a beneficiary of the reopening trade in recent months as investors rotated into some of the hardest hit areas of the market. The Russell 2000 has gained 43% over the last six months, more than doubling the return of the Dow and S&P.

Jim Lacamp, senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, believes this trade may now have run its course.

“These plays that have really ramped up from the lows — especially from the September lows — like the small caps and the lower-quality stocks are going to take a backstage,” he said Monday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”

“The markets are already moving fast mentally from the early stage recovery plays into the mid stage recovery plays, and it might mean the averages have trouble continuing to hit new highs,” he added.

Traders are bracing for heightened volatility during this holiday-shortened week with quarter-end rebalancing among pension funds and other big investors. The recent swift advance in bond yields could set up money managers for big adjustments in their portfolios.

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