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Stock Market News for Aug 11, 2021

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U.S. stock markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday as economically sensitive stocks moved higher after the U.S. Senate passed the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Rising bond yields also moved bank stocks higher during the session. The Dow and the S&P 500 closed the day in green, at fresh record highs, while the Nasdaq Composite ended the day in red.

How Did The Benchmarks Perform?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 0.5% or 162.82 points, closing at 35,264.67, a new record high, reversing its losses from Monday. Notably, 22 components of the 30-stock index ended in green while 8 finished the day in red.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed the day at 14,788.09, down 0.5%, terminating its gains from Monday, on the back of weak performance by large-cap technology stocks. The S&P 500 rose 0.1%, closing the day at 4,436.75, another record closing high and snapping its losses from the previous session. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and the Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) gained 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively. Eight out of eleven sectors of the benchmark index closed in the positive zone while three closed in the red.

The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 0.4% to 16.79. A total of 8.99 billion shares were traded on Tuesday, lower than the last 20-session average of 9.61 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.19-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.16-to-1 ratio favored declining issues.

Cyclical Stocks Moved Higher as Senate Passed Infrastructure Bill

The Dow and the S&P 500 moved higher in Tuesday’s session to close at fresh record highs, after the U.S. Senate’s passage of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill lifted economically sensitive stocks. The vote was 69-30 for the bill titled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and it has now moved to the House of Representatives for approval.

The bill calls for additional spending of $550 billion in new public works and includes $110 billion for roads and bridges, $66 billion spending for passenger and freight rail, $65 billion for investments in broadband, investment of $39 billion for public transit, and so on.

Consequently, shares of stocks related to economic recovery moved higher with the S&P 500’s Industrials and Materials sectors registering gains, among other sectors. Shares of industrial stocks like Caterpillar Inc. (CAT - Free Report) and Deere & Co. (DE - Free Report) rose 2.5% and nearly 2%, respectively. Materials stocks like LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (LYB - Free Report) and International Paper Co. (IP - Free Report) rose 4% and 1.7%, respectively. LyondellBasell carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Rising Bond Yields Moved Bank Stocks Higher

Bond yields moved higher in Tuesday’s session with the 30-year Treasury bond yields rising to 1.984% after the infrastructure bill was passed by the Senate. Shares of bank stocks like The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS - Free Report) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM - Free Report) rose 2% and 1.2%, respectively.

Economic Data

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in the second quarter of 2021, unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector increased at an annual rate of 1%, surpassing the consensus estimate of a rise of 0.9%, and compared to a decline of 2.8% in the first quarter which was revised downward from 1.7% gain reported earlier. The report stated that the rise in unit labor costs in the second quarter included the combined effect of an increase of 3.3% in hourly compensation and an increase of 2.3% in productivity.

The report further stated that in the second quarter of 2021, nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 2.3%, lower than the consensus estimate of a rise of 3.2%, and compared to an increase of 4.3% in the first quarter which was revised downward from 5.4% reported earlier.