by Stephen Culp
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 stock index ended trading broadly flat, with chip makers helping to push the Nasdaq into positive territory on a US holiday Thursday, a day after warmer inflation reports than expected to shake investor confidence and interrupt a string of record closings.
Walt Disney Co’s shares fell in the wake of a disappointing swing and dragged the Dow Jones into the red.
The bond market was closed for Veterans Day, and in the absence of economic data and the end of the third quarter swing season, there was little catalyst to move markets in any direction.
“Days like today are really hard to judge because you basically have half the market closed,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Corporate and sector-specific events are driving markets today.”
“There will be a lot more negotiations tomorrow than today, so we will have to wait and see what happens,” added Tuz.
Investors were favoring growth stocks over value stocks, and cycle-sensitive small caps and chips were outperforming the broader market.
The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index rose 1.9%, rebounding from its worst session in more than six weeks, boosted by Nvidia Corp’s gains after brokerage Susquehanna raised the chipmaker’s target price.
Market participants were digesting recent inflation data that suggested the current wave of price spikes due to chronic global supply challenges could be more persistent than many – including the US Federal Reserve – had expected.
The Dow Jones fell 0.44% to 35,921.23 points, the S&P 500 had a positive change of 0.06% to 4,649.27 points, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.52% to 15,704.28 points.
Among the top 11 sectors of the S&P 500, six closed higher, with materials leading the way. Utilities suffered the greatest percentage loss.
Shares in Walt Disney Co tumbled 7.1% and were the biggest drag on the Dow after its disappointing balance sheet, in which the media company reported declines in streaming subscribers and theme park revenues.
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