NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks were little changed on Monday, following the Dow industrials’ largest weekly drop in more than a year, as traders positioned for an expected move by the Federal Reserve to scale back its economic stimulus.
Bets that the Fed would begin to wind down its $85 billion a month in asset purchases were felt in other markets, and the U.S. benchmark 10-year yield rose to a two-year high of 2.875 percent.
The higher yield could further hurt dividend-paying, low-growth equity sectors like utilities and healthcare. Last Friday, the S&P 500 healthcare sector saw its largest weekly drop since November 2011.
Capital-intensive industries like large industrials and some miners, alongside utilities, could see their stocks fall out of favor if yields and interest rates continue to rise, according to Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
“Anybody with a large amount of short-term debt,” she said, speaking of sectors to watch for a possible selloff due to higher rates. “And if they pay a dividend, it can be at risk.”
With little expected this week in the way of economic indicators, market participants are focused on the minutes of the latest Fed meeting, expected on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 11.67 points or 0.08 percent, to 15,069.8, the S&P 500 lost 0.79 points or 0.05 percent, to 1,655.04 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.939 points or 0.25 percent, to 3,611.717.
Zillow shares fell 4.8 percent to $86.88 after the company announced a stock offering and said it agreed to buy New York real estate website StreetEasy for $50 million.
Saks Inc reported a deeper-than-expected second-quarter loss, pressured by markdowns. The company’s stock was unchanged at $16.02 as the company is in the process of being acquired by Hudson’s Bay for $16 per share.
Supernus Pharmaceuticals shares jumped 20.5 percent to $8 after the company said it will soon launch an epilepsy drug after having received final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
A U.S. federal bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase & Co hired the children of key Chinese officials to help it win business was the latest in a series of legal and regulatory headaches for Chief Executive Jamie Dimon. The bank’s shares fell 1.5 percent to $52.50.
There are no major economic indicators due for release on Monday. Urban Outfitters is due to report results after the closing bell.
~As Seen In The Chicago Tribune
(The story changes headline to show Wall St little changed, not futures)
(Written By: Rodrigo Campos)
(Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)