Nasdaq surges as tech stocks roar back

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq jumping about 4% to recoup its losses from the previous session, as U.S. bond yields retreated and investors scooped up battered technology stocks.

FILE PHOTO: A view of the exterior of the Nasdaq market site in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Tesla Inc jumped about 19%, while Apple Inc, Inc and Microsoft Corp gained between 3.3% and 4.4% after sharp losses in recent weeks as a rise in yields raised concerns over their high valuations.

News that a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package was nearing final approval sparked a spike in yields on Monday, pushing the tech-heavy Nasdaq to end more than 10% below its Feb. 12 closing high, confirming a correction for the index.

U.S. 10-year Treasury note yields eased to as low as 1.523% after hovering near 13-month highs of 1.613% in the prior session. Longer-dated yields have jumped over the last month as investors price in a faster-than-expected economic rebound and higher inflation.

The market is adjusting to the new level in interest rates, said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco in New York. Companies whose products and services are in demand when the economy is doing well, known as cyclicals, and small-cap stocks will outperform this year, she said. Tech will end the year higher but not be the leader as it was in the past year’s rally.

“Today the 10-year is down a bit, and that takes pressure off valuations, so tech is performing well,” Hooper said. “The market is just about getting comfortable at this level of rates.”

Rising interest rates disproportionately hurt high-growth tech companies because they are valued on earnings expected years into the future rather than profits earned in the short term.

“Potential headwind for the market is (when) interest rates rise further from this point over the short period … since they have risen too fast in too little time,” said Michael Sheldon, chief investment officer at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut.

By 2:50 p.m. ET (1950 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 234.05 points, or 0.74%, to 32,036.49, the S&P 500 gained 76.96 points, or 2.01%, to 3,898.31 and the Nasdaq Composite added 517.57 points, or 4.1%, to 13,126.73.

The rise in Treasury yields has accelerated a rotation from “stay-at-home” winners to stocks primed to benefit from an economic reopening, setting the blue-chip Dow on pace to end at a record high on Tuesday.

While the Russell 2000 growth index jumped over 3.2% on Tuesday, compared to a 0.7% rise in Russell 2000 value index, it has sharply underperformed its value counterpart since the start of the month.

Shares of Tesla surged 19% on Tuesday, rebounding from a deep sell-off and putting the automaker on track for its largest one-day gain in nearly eight years.

The global economic outlook has brightened as vaccine rollouts gain speed and the United States launches a massive new stimulus package, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said, hiking its 2021 growth forecasts.

The Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives will take up the relief bill on Wednesday, with the chamber’s expected approval leading to President Joe Biden’s signing the legislation into law later this week.

The bank index dropped 0.39% after vaulting to a new 14-year peak. Economy-linked financials, materials and industrials hovered near record highs.

GameStop was up 22%, building on Monday’s rise of over 40% on the video retailer’s e-commerce strategy and speculation that small investors will pour stimulus checks into markets.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.31-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.58-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 37 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 214 new highs and 15 new lows.

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