Nasdaq Moves Sharply Higher But Dow Remains In The Red

After moving in opposite directions early in the session, the major U.S. stock indexes continue to turn in a mixed performance in afternoon trading. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq has moved sharply higher, the Dow remains in negative territory.

The Nasdaq reached a new high for the session in recent trading and is currently up 163.11 points or 1.2 percent at 13,453.88. The S&P 500 is also up 17.37 points or 0.4 percent at 4,387.08, but the Dow is down 101.71 points or 0.3 percent at 34,398.95.

The advance by the Nasdaq comes as traders pick up tech stocks at reduced levels following recent weakness, with the index bouncing off its lowest closing level in two months.

Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is posting a standout gain after reporting better than expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings.

Shares of Nvidia (NVDA) have also moved notably higher after HSBC reiterated a Buy rating on the chipmaker’s stock and raised its price target.

Meanwhile, a steep drop by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is weighing on the Dow, with the healthcare giant slumping by 2.8 percent.

Johnson & Johnson said its offer to its shareholders to exchange their shares of J&J common stock for shares of Kenvue (KVUE) common stock owned by the company was oversubscribed.

Trades continue to look ahead to the economic summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where major central bankers are congregating later in the week to deliberate on monetary policy.

Sector News

Semiconductor stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of the session, resulting in a 2.1 percent surge by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Significant strength is also visible among software stocks, as reflected by the 1.8 percent jump by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.

Biotechnology stocks are also turning in a strong performance in afternoon trading, with the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index climbed by 1.6 percent.

On the other hand, oil service stocks have come under pressure over the course of the session, dragging the Philadelphia Oil Service Index down by 1.3 percent. The weakness in the sector comes amid a modest decrease by the price of crude oil.

Interest rate-sensitive utilities, commercial real estate and housing stocks are also seeing notable weakness amid a spike in treasury yields

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.4 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1.2 percent.

The major European markets also finished the day mixed. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the German DAX Index crept up by 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 Index climbed by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back sharply following the rebound seen last Friday. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 8.5 basis points at 4.336 percent.

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