U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday, after data showed an increase in job openings but didn’t spur significant concern about inflation.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was little changed. The Shanghai Composite was 0.5% lower. The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.3%, as the CAC 40 in Paris lifted 0.1% and Frankfurt’s DAX slipped 0.2%.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed 9.3 million openings for April, higher than the expected 8.2 million. More openings means higher demand for workers, which could potentially bring higher wages and therefore force companies to raise prices. Investors, though, have already digested the upward pressure on wages, as Friday’s employment report revealed as much.
Mark Haefele, the chief investment officer of Swiss bank UBS’s global wealth management division, said that while the bank remains alert to inflation risks, “we believe the backdrop remains benign for stocks.”
UBS said that it views global stocks trading at all-time highs as justified, based on strong economic data, including a recovery in global corporate earnings, and sentiment from policy makers to let the economy run hot.
Plus, a look under the hood of the market reveals one that isn’t overly concerned about inflation. Growth and technology stocks, which get a valuation boost with lower inflation and bond yields, were outperforming. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.54% from a Monday close of 1.57%. “Today’s backdrop favors a mild de-risking and reduces the headwinds facing the most speculative names (which benefit from capped yields),” writes Dennis DeBusschere, head of portfolio strategy research at Evercore.
The lower yields are partly because some expect the Fed to take actions to lift yields at a fairly slow pace. “Fed watchers and former Fed officials are discussing a painfully slow taper plan rollout,” DeBusschere said.
Cryptocurrency asset Bitcoin fell near the $32,000 mark, from above $35,000 on Monday.
Wendy’s (WEN) stock rose 18.9% and may be a newly popular “meme stock.”
Target (TGT) stock added 2% after getting upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) stock gained 1.5% after getting upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
EOG Resources (EOG) stock dropped 0.2% after getting downgraded to Hold from Accumulate at Johnson Rice.
Write to Jacob Sonenshine at firstname.lastname@example.org