REFILE-CORRECTED-US STOCKS-Nasdaq closes higher; stimulus in focus

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
REFILE-CORRECTED-US STOCKS-Nasdaq closes higher; stimulus in focus
Credit: © Reuters.

(Fixes typo in Tuesday in first paragraph)

* NYSE FANG+TM index hits record high

* Coty drops as demand for makeup products dwindles

* Take-Two tumbles as quarterly sales fall

By Herbert Lash

Feb 9 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq ended at a new closing high on Tuesday but the broad market closed slightly lower as investors rotated out of large-cap tech names into other sectors seen as benefiting from President Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq hit an all-time high for the fifth consecutive session on early gains in Apple Inc AAPL.O , Inc AMZN.O and Google-parent Alphabet Inc AAPL. , which later turned lower amid a shift in portfolio allocations.

The NYSE FANG+TM index .NYFANG , which includes Facebook Inc FB.O , Netflix Inc NFLX.O and Tesla Inc TSLA.O , rose to an all-time high.

With the number of U.S. COVID-19 cases falling and expectations the stimulus package will be approved in Congress, investors are hard-pressed to find significant negatives, said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

"You're not seeing money coming out of the market and going into cash," James said. "You're seeing money coming out of one sector and being rotated into another sector to maintain an overall long bias."

Largely upbeat corporate earnings, along with monetary and fiscal support, have powered the major U.S. stock indexes to record highs. But analysts caution the new COVID variants and any glitches in vaccine rollouts could sour positive sentiment.

"The backdrop is largely positive for stocks and I'm not sure there could be a better backdrop for risk assets in the near to intermediate term," said William Herrmann, co-founder and managing partner at Wilshire Phoenix in New York City.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 10.72 points, or 0.03%, to 31,375.04, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 4.3 points, or 0.11%, to 3,911.29 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 20.06 points, or 0.14%, to 14,007.70.

The energy sector .SPNY , among those that led the recent rally, slipped a bit, while communication services .SPLRCL rose.

Data last week showing slower-than-expected jobs growth in the labor market underscored the need for more government aid to blunt the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden has said.

Democrats in the U.S. Senate continue to try to find a way to include a minimum wage increase in a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill they aim to advance in the coming weeks, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday. Mattel Inc MAT.O rose, while telephone equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O slipped ahead of reporting earnings after market close.

Analysts forecast a fourth-quarter S&P earnings gain of about 2.5%, a stark reversal from the 10.3% annual decline seen at the beginning of the year, per Refinitiv.

Gucci lipstick maker Coty Inc COTY.N tumbled as weak demand for makeup products wiped millions off its quarterly revenue. Interactive Software Inc TTWO.O fell after the videogame publisher posted a drop in quarterly adjusted sales and shied away from announcing any new big releases. BTC=BTSP fast approached the $50,000-mark as the afterglow of Elon Musk-led Tesla's TSLA.O investment in the cryptocurrency had investors reckoning it may become a mainstream asset class for both corporations and money managers. miner Riot Blockchain RIOT.O and Marathon Patent Group MARA.O extended sharp gains for the second day, but Tesla's shares dropped.

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