US markets: S&P, Nasdaq open flat, Boeing drags on Dow Jones

Marco Green
March 21, 2019

However, earlier gains were pared following a Bloomberg report that China is pushing back against American demands in trade negotiations. The S&P 500 was up 5.02 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,827.50.

Apple stock was up 1 percent after the company unveiled its new iPad Air, iPad mini on Monday, adding keyboard and Apple Pencil support to both items for the first time, while Amazon rose more than 1.5 percent.

Investors braced themselves for a hectic week as the Fed launched a two-day policy meeting on monetary gains on Tuesday.

"It's an ongoing thing", said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

But Nolte questioned whether the dot plot deserves this level of scrutiny. Investors expect the central bank to reinforce its "patient" approach toward further interest rate hikes.

"Since it has been rolled out it has been adjusted at nearly every meeting", he said. "I'm not sure it's a very useful tool from a long-term perspective in determining the future direction of the Fed funds rate".

A slew of downbeat economic data last week validated the Fed's decision to remain less aggressive on raising rates.

Concerns over the safety of Boeing's marquee MAX fleet led to groundings worldwide last week and shaved off more than 10 percent from the market value of the world's largest planemaker.

"The equity market, lifted by the return of easier money from central banks globally as well as the Fed, is positive without question, but we wonder how long this lift will last, considering the likely negative impact on earnings expectations from weakening trends in United States economic data and much of the rest of the world".

Facebook Inc dropped 3.3 percent after a top-rated analyst cut rating on the social media company's stock, dragging the communication services index 0.9 percent lower, the most among the 11 major S&P sectors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 65.23 points, or 0.25 per cent higher, at 25,914.10, the S&P 500 gained 10.46 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 2,832.94 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.95 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 7,714.48.

Nvidia Corp rose 4.7 percent on news that the company has partnered with Softbank Group Corp and LG Uplus Corp to deploy cloud gaming servers in Japan and South Korea later this year. Worldpay jumped 12 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 2.79-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.83-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 26 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 70 new highs and 22 new lows.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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