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US Stocks Finish Mixed Monday          03/08 16:12

   Major U.S. stock indexes closed mostly lower Monday as another rise in bond 
yields helped set off more heavy selling in technology companies.

   (AP) -- Major U.S. stock indexes closed mostly lower Monday as another rise 
in bond yields helped set off more heavy selling in technology companies.

   The S&P 500 fell 0.5% after having been up 1% earlier. Because of their huge 
size, drops by Apple, Google's parent company and other major technology stocks 
helped drag the S&P 500 into the red, even though more stocks rose than fell in 
the benchmark index.

   The selling, which accelerated toward the end of the day, left the 
tech-heavy Nasdaq composite down 10.5% from the all-time high it reached on 
Feb. 12. A drop of 10% or more from a recent peak is known on Wall Street as a 
"correction."

   Bond yields rose broadly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 
1.60% from 1.55% late Friday.

   Yields have been marching higher with rising expectations for the economy's 
growth and for the inflation that could accompany it. Higher yields put 
downward pressure on stocks generally, in part because they can steer away 
dollars that had been headed for the stock market into bonds instead. That 
makes investors less willing to pay as high prices for stocks, especially those 
that look the most expensive, such as technology stocks.

   Investors can expect more market volatility as long as bond yields keep 
rising, said Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs. "I do 
think it's something that's going to be temporary."

   Still, she said, the pullback in technology stocks offers an attractive 
entry point for investors to snap up shares in some big names, like Apple and 
Amazon, at a better price.

   "There are some solid buy-on-the-dip opportunities here," Jablonski said.

   The S&P 500 fell 20.59 points to 3,821.35. The Dow Jones Industrial Average 
rose 306.14 points, or 1%, to 31,802.44. The index briefly climbed more than 
650 points. The Nasdaq lost 310.99 points, or 2.4%, to 12,609.16.

   Smaller company stocks, which have led the market higher this year, notched 
more gains. The Russell 2000 index added 10.77 points, or 0.5%, to 2,202.98.

   Financial stocks had some of the best gains. Wells Fargo rose 3.3% and 
Citigroup gained 2.8%.

   Trading has been choppy in recent weeks as investors fret over the sudden 
spike in long-term interest rates in the bond market. The S&P 500 is coming off 
its first weekly gain in three weeks.

   Technology companies have been heading lower as investors start to doubt 
whether the huge gains they made during the pandemic months can continue if 
inflation surges. Apple fell 4.2%, Google's parent Alphabet dropped 4.3% and 
Facebook slid 3.4%.

   The latest move higher in bond yields fanned those concerns Monday.

   "Interest rates reflect a real economic recovery and they're not going back 
down anytime soon," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for 
Commonwealth Financial Network. "Right now, the market is struggling with that."

   Investors have been betting that trillions of dollars in coming government 
stimulus will help lift the economy out of its coronavirus-induced malaise. 
There are also investors who are betting that stimulus and an improving economy 
will result in some amount of inflation down the road.

   The U.S. economic aid package, passed narrowly by the Senate on Saturday, 
provides direct payments of up to $1,400 for most Americans and extends 
emergency unemployment benefits. It's a victory for President Joe Biden and his 
Democratic allies, and final congressional approval is expected this week.

   "That eliminates a major short-term risk and also puts a lot of money into 
the economy in the short term," McMillan said.

   Rising oil prices are a part of that picture. After plunging with the onset 
of the pandemic, as demand plummeted, prices have been recovering in the past 
few months.

   Last week, with oil prices rising, some observers were expecting the OPEC 
cartel and its allies to lift more restrictions and let the oil flow more 
freely. But OPEC agreed to leave most restrictions in place, despite growing 
demand.

   Benchmark U.S. crude oil for April delivery fell $1.04, or 1.6% to $65.05 a 
barrel Monday. It's still up 32.8% so far this year.

 
 
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