Dow Eases From Record as Stocks Struggle for Direction

© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim – The Dow struggled for direction on Monday, after hitting an intraday record high as investors weighed mixed quarterly results and data showing a slowdown in manufacturing activity.

The gained 0.1%, or 26 points, though had hit an intraday record of 35,192.11. The rose 0.1%, and the Nasdaq was up 0.4%.

Materials were the biggest drag on the broader market, weighed down by a 3% decline in Mosaic Co (NYSE:) ahead of its quarterly results due after the closing bell.

Wall Street analysts are expecting earnings per share of 99 cents on revenue of $2.85 billion.

The broader technology sector was helped by a climb in iShares Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:) following a 14% surge in ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ:).

ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ:) delivered a better-than-expected outlook after reporting quarterly results that topped Wall Street estimates despite the ongoing supply chain constraints.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:), meanwhile, pared some gains after Google unveiled plans to build its own smartphone processor, Google Tensor, and ditch chips from Qualcomm for its slate of Pixel 6 phones to be launched later this fall.

Apple (NASDAQ:), Microsoft (NASDAQ:), Alphabet (NASDAQ:), Facebook (NASDAQ:), and (NASDAQ:) traded mixed.

Tesla (NASDAQ:) was up more than 3% after cutting the price of its Model 3 standard range version in China by 15,000 .

On the economic front, U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in July for the second straight month to a reading of 59.5 from 60.6 in May. 

Positive sentiment on the broader market was also kept in check by surge in Covid-19 cases.

“COVID-19 cases have increased over 300% nationally from June 19 to July 23, 2021, along with parallel increases in hospitalizations and deaths driven by the highly transmissible B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a Health Alert Network advisory last week.

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With about 70% of U.S. adults having had at least one shot of a Covid vaccine, the impact on surging cases on the economy and broader market is expected to be limited

“Given our expectation for limited fallout, we maintain our favorable view of industrials, materials, and other economically sensitive equity sectors,” Wells Fargo (NYSE:) said.

In other news, Square (NYSE:) agreed to acquire Australian pay later provider Afterpay in a $29 billion all-stock transaction.

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