US stock indexes had a mostly in-the-red day on Friday, continuing the week's trend. The Dow fell 469 points, 1.5%, to 30,932, and the S&P 500 fell 18 points, 0.4%, to 3,811, while the Nasdaq managed to rise 72 points, 0.5%, to 13,192. Investors continued to watch the bond market, where Treasury yields were easing lower, as well as Washington, where Congress is expected to vote on President Joe Biden's stimulus package, per the AP. Technology and communication services companies, which bore the brunt of the selling a day before, helped lift the market somewhat. Those gains outweighed a pullback among banks, household goods makers, and elsewhere. Falling oil prices weighed on energy stocks.
The recent rise in bond yields reflects growing confidence that the economy is on the path to recovery, but also expectations that inflation is headed higher, which might prompt central banks eventually to raise interest rates to cool price increases. Rising yields can make stocks look less attractive relative to bonds, which is why every tick up in yields has corresponded with a tick down in stock prices. “Investors should look at this as an affirmation that the recovery is taking hold,” Brian Levitt, Global Market Strategist at Invesco. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are preparing to move forward with President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, with a vote in the House planned for Friday. The Senate could vote on the package as early as next week.
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