US markets close mixed as defensive stocks lead gains

Benchmark US indices closed mixed on Tuesday, September 21, after healthcare, energy, and technology stocks led gains in intraday trading buoyed by positive income expectations.

The S&P 500 fell 0.08% to 4,354.19. The Dow Jones fell 0.15% to 33,919.84. The NASDAQ Composite Index rose 0.22% to 14,746.40, and the small-cap Russell 2000 was up 0.18% to 2,186.18.

Markets saw huge selloffs on Monday, triggered by concerns over China's real estate crisis. Investors stayed away from risky bets as Chinese real estate giant Evergrande Group’s loan default loomed.

Stocks remained low for most of September due to rising concerns over the Delta variant that threatened global economic recovery. Besides worries over inflation, supplies, and the Central Banks’ expected stimulus rollback later this year weighed on investors’ minds.

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Healthcare, energy, and technology stocks were the top movers on the S&P 500 index. Seven of the 11 index segments stayed in the green. Basic materials and industrial stocks were the laggards.

Stocks of Lennar Corporation (LEN) declined 0.37% in intraday trading, a day after reporting quarterly earnings. Its revenue surged 18% YoY to US$6.94 billion in Q3, FY21. Its net earnings were US$1.4 billion against US$666.4 million in the previous year's Q3.

Shares of US Bancorp (USB) rose 2.75% after the company agreed to buy MUFG Union Bank’s core retail operations for US$8 billion in a cash-and-stock deal. The deal will boost USB's operations on the West Coast as the Union Bank has around 300 branches in the region.

Uber Technologies, Inc. (UBER) stock surged 12.42% after it said in a regulatory filing that it will present its first adjusted quarterly profit report for the quarter ending on Sep 30.

In the healthcare sector, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (TMO) increased by 1.61%, Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO) surged 2.07%, and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) gained 0.93%. Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) and Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) advanced 3.39% and 1.21%, respectively.

In technology stocks, NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) rose 1.09%, ASML Holdings N.V. (ASML) jumped 2.32%, and Adobe Inc. (ADBE) rose 1.03%. Oracle Corporation (ORCL) and Sony Group Corporation (SONY) rose 1.42% and 3.70%, respectively.

In the material sector, Rio Tinto Group (RIO) declined 0.97%, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX) fell 1.99%, and Dow Inc. (DOW) decreased by 1.16%. International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) shed 1.75%, while Linde plc (LIN) gained 1.08%.

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Healthcare, energy, and technology stocks lead broad gains in intraday trading.

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Top Gainers

Top performers on S&P 500 included Conocophillips (3.96%), Autozone Inc (3.65%), Twitter Inc (3.00%), US Bancorp (2.55%). On NASDAQ, top performers were Rewalk Robotics Ltd (99.23%), Helbiz Inc (96.59%), Ensysce Biosciences Inc (48.21%), Corvus Pharmaceuticals Inc (38.25%). On Dow Jones, American Express Co (1.68%), Home Depot Inc (0.91%), Mcdonald's Corp (0.59%), Nike Inc (0.50%) were the leaders.

Top Losers

Top laggards on S&P 500 included Las Vegas Sands Corp (-5.57%), Penn National Gaming Inc (-4.39%), Walt Disney Co (-4.17%), Activision Blizzard Inc (-4.13%). On NASDAQ, Edesa Biotech Inc (-29.87%), Discovery Inc (-29.08%), Ucloudlink Group Inc (-17.40%), Movano Inc (-16.36%). On Dow Jones, Walt Disney Co (-4.17%), 3M Co (-1.17%), Dow Inc (-1.16%), Cisco Systems Inc (-1.13%) were the laggards.

Volume Movers

Top volume movers were Apple Inc (16.25M), Ford Motor Co (10.40M), AT&T Inc (9.34M), Bank of America Corp (9.07M), Rewalk Robotics Ltd (26.94M), Lucid Group Inc (19.29M), Corvus Pharmaceuticals Inc (11.21M), ContextLogic Inc (10.91M), SoFi Technologies Inc (10.78M), Helbiz Inc (9.32M).

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Futures & Commodities

Gold futures were up 0.64% to US$1,775.10 per ounce. Silver increased by 1.28% to US$22.488 per ounce, while copper fell 0.11% to US$4.1100.

Brent oil futures increased by 1.04% to US$74.69 per barrel and WTI crude was up 1.03% to US$70.86.

Bond Market

The 30-year Treasury bond yields was up 0.55% to 1.857, while the 10-year bond yields rose 1.17% to 1.324.

US Dollar Futures Index decreased by 0.05% to US$93.210.