Stock market news live updates: S&P 500 rises to end 5-session losing streak

Emily McCormick
·Reporter
·11 min read

Stocks reversed earlier losses on Tuesday, and the S&P 500 and Dow traded higher.

The S&P 500 ended a five-day losing streak, shaking off earlier losses. The Dow erased losses of as many as 360 points, or more than 1%, to push into positive territory Tuesday afternoon.

The Nasdaq, however, added to steep losses and dropped more than 2% at session lows before paring some declines, as investors rotated away from growth and tech shares. Shares of airlines, cruise lines, lodging companies and other service-based beneficiaries of a post-pandemic economic reopening added to Monday's gains, and cyclical sectors including energy and financials were poised to outperform anew.

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered his semiannual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, offering another update on his view for the path forward for monetary policy during and after the pandemic. In his remarks, Powell reaffirmed that the Fed was looking to maintain its current accommodative policy posturing for the time being, keeping benchmark rates near zero and asset purchases at the current pace of $120 billion per month.

"The economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals, and it is likely to take some time for substantial further progress to be achieved," Powell said. "We will continue to clearly communicate our assessment of progress toward our goals well in advance of any change in the pace of purchases."

Optimism over another round of fiscal stimulus – in addition to ongoing monetary support – to help the economy has helped boost shares of companies levered to a strong economic reopening. The U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee voted to advance President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion virus relief proposal on Monday, bringing it a step closer to passage ahead of a mid-March cliff, after which federal unemployment benefits improved under the last round of relief in December are set to expire.

Still, investors this week have been eyeing a sharp move higher in Treasury yields, raising concerns of an unbridled surge in rates and borrowing costs for companies and inflationary pressure across the economy. The benchmark 10-year yield hovered around 1.36% for its highest level in a year, after wallowing below 1% for most of 2020.

That said, rising government bond yields and a steepening yield curve — with longer-dated yields increasing faster than those on the shorter-end of the curve — are also typical features of an economic recovery.

"I think the push up in bond yields is overdue because we have the prospect of very strong economic growth in the U.S. You have seen other indicators of economic activity be very strong, for example commodities have been on a real tear since last summer. Bond yields are reflecting stronger economic growth,” Ernesto Ramos, chief investment officer of BMO Global Asset Management, told Yahoo Finance on Monday.

“The consensus is estimating maybe 6-7% [GDP] growth for 2021. You see the rollout of the vaccine improving a lot and really starting to hit and make a difference. So a lot of signs of reopening are there, and the economic growth will reflect that and therefore bond yields have to reflect stronger economic growth, and that’s why they’ve moved up," he added. "They’ve moved up pretty quickly, but they really started moving up since July from 60 basis points all the way up to where we are today at 135."

Still, however, that hasn't eased some investors' concerns of a higher-rate environment.

"We're coming off a very strong 3-month run for U.S. stocks ... and will now face the less-welcomed headlines of a typical economic recovery. This includes rising long-term interest rates and oil prices," DataTrek co-founder Nicholas Colas wrote in a recent note. "Yes, it's entirely natural to see these move higher but that doesn't mean stocks get a free pass while they do."

4:04 p.m. ET: S&P 500 rises to end 5-session losing streak, Dow adds 13 points, recovering earlier losses

Here were the main moves in markets as of 4:04 p.m. ET:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +4.80 (+0.12%) to 3,881.30

  • Dow (^DJI): +14.87 (+0.05%) to 31,536.56

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -67.85 (-0.50%) to 13,465.20

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.28 (+0.45%) to $61.98 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$3.90 (-0.22%) to $1,804.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.8 bps to yield 1.3620%

3:18 p.m. ET: Stocks trade mixed after S&P 500, Dow turn positive

Here's where markets were trading with less than an hour left of the regular session:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): +10.83 points (+0.28%) to 3,887.33

  • Dow (^DJI): +89.22 points (+0.28%) to 31,610.91

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -57.47 points (-0.42%) to 13,476.64

2:53 p.m. ET: U.S. crude oil settles at $61.67 per barrel, steadying after rally

U.S. crude oil prices settled lower by 3 cents to $61.67 per barrel, paring earlier gains of more than $1 before Tuesday's settlement. The commodity price has rallied more than 25% for the year-to-date, as improving economic data and prospects of a strong economic recovery stoked optimism over demand for fuel. The energy sector was the best performer in the S&P 500 on Tuesday, rising more than 1% to buck the downward trend of the broader market.

12:33 p.m. ET: Stocks extend declines

Here's where markets were trading during the afternoon session on Tuesday:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -0.67 points (-0.67%) to 3,850.7

  • Dow (^DJI): -109.68 points (-0.35%) to 31,314.01

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -250.57 points (-1.85%) to 13,278.74

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.16 (-0.26%) to $61.54 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$0.40 (-0.02%) to $1,808.00 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.7 bps to yield 1.362%

10:32 a.m. ET: Powell remains 'resolutely dovish,' suggesting premature policy tightening not on the horizon even amid recovery: Capital Economics

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee was "resolutely dovish," suggesting monetary policy will likely not be tightened at the first signs of inflationary pressure or rebound in employment, Capital Economics economist Paul Ashworth said in a note.

"Fed Chair Jerome Powell's prepared semi-annual testimony today was overwhelmingly dovish. His conclusion that 'the economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals, and it is likely to take some time for substantial further progress to be achieved' is a clear indication that, even with more massive fiscal stimulus this year, the Fed won't slow the pace of its asset purchases until next year, with interest rate hikes still several years away," Ashworth said.

"The upshot is that the Fed won't blink an eye until the unemployment rate is back down to 4%, which is in line with its current estimate of the long-run equilibrium rate," he added. "Even then it could delay tightening policy if officials felt that the unemployment rates for minorities and low-wage workers were too high. With officials also seemingly keen to label any rise in inflation as due to 'transitory' factors, at least until proven otherwise, we are struggling to think of a scenario that could arise in the next couple of years which would prompt the Fed to tighten monetary policy sooner than expected."

10:00 a.m. ET: Consumer confidence improves more than expected in February

Consumer confidence improved by a greater margin than anticipated in February, based on The Conference Board's closely watched monthly index.

The institution's headline Consumer Confidence index rose to 91.3 in February from a downwardly revised 88.9 in January. This topped estimates for a print of 90.0, according to Bloomberg consensus data. The index remains well below pre-pandemic levels, however, and had averaged around 128 in 2019.

Beneath the headline index, subindices tracking both consumers' assessments of present situations and expectations for the future hovered came in at more than 90.

9:52 a.m. ET: Apple shares sink as much as 6% in worst session in nearly four months

Shares of Apple (AAPL) – a heavily weighted stock in each of the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq – sank as much as 6% on Tuesday amid a broader drawdown in tech shares.

The decline marked the biggest drop for the stock since October 30. Shares were down 5% for the year-to-date through Monday's close, giving back gains after an 80% surge in 2020.

9:30 a.m. ET: Stocks open lower as tech selloff continues

Here's where markets were trading shortly after the opening bell:

  • S&P 500 (^GSPC): -26 points (-0.67%) to 3,847.50

  • Dow (^DJI): -44 points (-0.14%) to 31,422.00

  • Nasdaq (^IXIC): -236.5 points (-1.79%) to 12,987.75

  • Crude (CL=F): -$0.32 (-0.52%) to $61.38 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): -$2.90 (-0.16%) to $1,805.50 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): +0.7 bps to yield 1.376%

9:01 a.m. ET: Home price growth accelerated by the most since 2013 in December as surging demand pushes prices higher

Housing prices in the U.S. surged by the most in nearly eight years in December, capping off a banner year for the housing market as new buyers flooded the market amid low rates.

Standard & Poor's S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index rose by 10.4% year-over-year in December, up from 9.5% in November and representing the fastest growth rate since 2013. The 20-City Composite Index, tracking housing price trends across 20 major metropolitan areas, posted a 10.1% annual gain, up from 9.2% during November and beating estimates for a 9.90% year-over-year gain, according to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

8:50 a.m. ET: Tesla shares extend rout, dropping another 5% in early trading as stock is seen increasingly linked to Bitcoin

Shares of Tesla (TSLA) were poised to open more than 5% lower on Tuesday, extending declines after a drop of 8.5% on Monday.

"The last few days have been nasty for Tesla shares as the company's stock continues to sell off for two core reasons in our opinion. First is related to Bitcoin, as since diving into the deep end of the pool with its $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase last month for both good and bad the company's stock is now heavily tied to this digital currency," Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said in a note Tuesday morning. Bitcoin prices (BTC-USD) tumbled nearly 9% to fall below $50,000 on Tuesday.

"Second, Tesla stopping sales of its lowest price Model Y coupled by continued price cuts have led to Street demand concerns as the bears come out of hibernation mode," he added.

7:29 a.m. ET: Home Depot shares drop after company declines to provide guidance, though 4Q sales easily top estimates

Shares of Home Depot (HD) sank more than 2.5% in early trading after the company declined to offer a forecast for this year following a banner year of soaring sales in 2020, as customers turned in droves to the company for home improvement projects during the pandemic.

"As we look ahead to fiscal 2021, while we are not able to predict how consumer spending will evolve, if the demand environment during the back half of fiscal 2020 were to persist through fiscal 2021, it would imply flat to slightly positive comparable sales growth and operating margin of at least 14%,” Chief Financial Officer Richard McPhail, said in a statement.

Comparable sales soared 24.5% in the fourth quarter, surging over last year's 5.2% growth rate and topping estimates for 19.1% growth. Earnings of $2.65 per share also grew over the $2.28 posted last year.

7:19 a.m. ET Tuesday: Stock futures mixed, Nasdaq futures tumble

Here's where markets were trading ahead of the opening bell:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,856.5, down 17 points or 0.44%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 31,459.00, down 7 points or 0.02%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,032.25, down 13,032.25 points or 1.45%

  • Crude (CL=F): +$0.38 (+0.62%) to $62.08 a barrel

  • Gold (GC=F): +$1.60 (+0.09%) to $1,810.00 per ounce

  • 10-year Treasury (^TNX): -0.9 bps to yield 1.362%

6:07 p.m. ET Monday: Stock futures rise, steadying after losses

Here's where markets were trading as the overnight session began:

  • S&P 500 futures (ES=F): 3,880.75, up 7.25 points or 0.19%

  • Dow futures (YM=F): 31,522.00, up 56 points or 0.18%

  • Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): 13,240.00, up 15.75 points or 0.12%

U.S. flags fly out in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York, U.S., February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. flags fly out in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York, U.S., February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck

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