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May 4, 2021

Tech leads stock losses as vaccine makers decline

BNN Bloomberg's closing bell update: May 5, 2021

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Stocks pared gains into the close as a drop in tech companies tempered earlier optimism about solid corporate earnings and economic data.

The S&P 500 was little changed and the Nasdaq 100 erased its advance. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson retreated, while Pfizer ended the session unchanged on news the U.S. will support a proposal to waive intellectual-property protections for COVID-19 shots. Peloton tumbled after recalling its treadmill products. Copper and lumber climbed, adding to inflation worries.

As the world’s largest economy rebounds, an intense debate has emerged over whether actual price pressures are set to materialize. The five-year breakeven rate -- a proxy for the annual inflation rate bond traders expect over the span -- touched the highest since 2008. Despite the increase in commodity prices and supply shortages, several Fed officials said Wednesday that inflation is unlikely to get out of control.

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Money managers who’ve spent the bulk of their careers profiting from deflationary trends need to quickly switch gears or risk an “inflation shock” to their portfolios, warned JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief global markets strategist Marko Kolanovic.

“Given the still high unemployment, and a decade of inflation undershoot, central banks will likely tolerate higher inflation and see it as temporary,” he wrote. “The question that matters the most is if asset managers will make a significant change in allocations to express an increased probability of a more persistent inflation.”

Here are some key events to watch this week:

Bank of England rate decision Thursday
The April U.S. employment report is released on Friday

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 was little changed as of 4 p.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.3 per cent
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 per cent
  • The MSCI World index rose 0.3 per cent

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
  • The euro was little changed at US$1.2004
  • The British pound rose 0.2 per cent to US$1.3909
  • The Japanese yen rose 0.1 per cent to 109.20 per dollar

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined one basis point to 1.58 per cent
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced one basis point to -0.23 per cent
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced two basis points to 0.82 per cent

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.6 per cent to US$65 a barrel
  • Gold futures rose 0.6 per cent to US$1,786 an ounce

--With assistance from Andreea Papuc, Emily Barrett, Yakob Peterseil, Vildana Hajric, Claire Ballentine and Lu Wang.

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