March 19 (Reuters) – The Nasdaq ended higher on Friday, lifted by Facebook and energy shares as U.S. Treasury yields took a break from a recent surge.
Reversing a recent trend, so-called growth stocks mostly outperformed value stocks viewed as likely to benefit most as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The yield on U.S. 10-year notes, which has risen sharply in the past seven weeks on growth expectations, hovered near a 14-month peak at $1.742%.
“What we see today is a more stable rate environment across the curve after multiple weeks of rising interest rates, and we are seeing some degree of reversal of leadership in the equity market,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
The S&P 500 energy index followed the price of oil higher as it rebounded from a sell-off earlier in the week related to a new wave of coronavirus infections across Europe.
The S&P 500 banks index dropped after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would not extend a temporary capital buffer relief put in place to ease a pandemic-driven stress in the funding market.
“Banks have had such a significant up move this year and this news has only acted as a catalyst for profit taking,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
Optimism about a $1.9 trillion fiscal package and the Fed’s promise to maintain its ultra-loose policy stance for years has accelerated a shift into economy-linked stocks, powering the S&P 500 and the Dow to record levels this week.
However, the Nasdaq is still about 6% below its Feb. 12 all-time closing high as technology and high-growth stocks have lost favor in recent months, with their valuations looking less attractive as Treasury yields rise.
The S&P 500 growth index rose, outperforming the value index.
Several bond managers believe the recent pace of the rise in yields has been unsettling and also worry the market could be viewed as disorderly if the momentum continues.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 234.79 points, or 0.71%, to 32,627.51, the S&P 500 lost 2.71 points, or 0.07%, to 3,912.75 and the Nasdaq Composite added 99.07 points, or 0.76%, to 13,215.24
FedEx Corp rallied after the U.S. delivery firm said quarterly profit jumped more than expected on higher prices and Maysurging volume from pandemic-fueled e-commerce deliveries during the holiday shipping season.
Nike Inc fell after the sports apparel maker missed quarterly sales estimates due to shipping issues and a pandemic-related slump at brick-and-mortar stores.
Reporting by Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif. Additional reporting by Shashank Nayar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru Editing by Maju Samuel and Matthew Lewis