US STOCKS-Tech stocks push S&P 500 to record close, buoy Nasdaq

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-Tech stocks push S&P 500 to record close, buoy Nasdaq
Credit: © Reuters.

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* J&J shares hit one-month low

* Tech firms boost indexes

* Big bank earnings to kick off from Wednesday

* Crypto-stocks jump ahead of Coinbase IPO (Updates to market close)

By David French

April 13 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 .SPX closed at another record high on Tuesday and the Nasdaq composite index jumped, as investors shook off concerns about the halt in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ )'s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and strong U.S. inflation.

The drugmaker's shares JNJ.N hit a one-month low before recovering some of its losses, as calls for pausing the use of its COVID-19 vaccine after six women developed rare blood clots dealt a fresh setback to efforts to tackle the pandemic. news came as U.S. data showed the consumer price index (CPI) in March rose by the most in more than 8-1/2 years, kicking off what the majority of economists expect will be a brief period of higher inflation. futures initially dropped on the J&J news, but pared losses after the CPI data. Solid demand for Tuesday lunchtime's U.S. Treasuries issue pushed down yields further, highlighting investors' lack of concern about any imminent bump in interest rates. high-flying technology names that flourished during coronavirus-induced lockdowns last year attracted renewed buying that boosted Apple Inc AAPL.O , Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and Inc AMZN.O .

The wider technology sector .SPLRCT also rose, as did the NYSE FANG+TM Index .NYFANG for a record 12th straight session.

The S&P 500 closed at record highs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week.

"The real curveball today is the J&J vaccine halt, although this too may be shrugged off as a minor setback. While this may cause some short-term volatility, investors have been pretty steadfast in their faith in a full economic recovery," said Mike Loewengart, managing director at investment strategy at E*TRADE Financial.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 65.96 points, or 0.2%, to 33,679.44, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 13.67 points, or 0.33%, to 4,141.66 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 146.10 points, or 1.05%, to 13,996.10.

Highlighting investors' unfazed attitudes was the volatility index .VIX , which intraday dipped beneath the 14-month closing low hit on Friday.

"This year, 20 had proved to be a bit of a floor, but what we've seen from the start of this month is the VIX broke down through that level and established its trading range at mid-teens, which is notable for the broader risk environment as we enter earnings season," said Greg Boutle, U.S. head of equity and derivative strategy at BNP Paribas (PA: BNPP ).

First-quarter earnings season begins in earnest on Wednesday, with the first reports expected from Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) GS.N , JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) JPM.N and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) WFC.N .

Analysts expect earnings for S&P 500 companies to have jumped 25% from a year earlier, driven by strength in consumer discretionary and financial companies, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms, such as Riot Blockchain RIOT.O and Marathon Digital Holdings MARA.O , gained as bitcoin prices BTC=BTSP soared, a day ahead of the listing of Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange.

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