US stocks close mixed as tech surge battles against industrial sell-off

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Traders NYSE red worried

  • US stocks closed mixed on Tuesday as investors weighed optimism in the tech sector against continued sell-offs in other corners of the market.
  • Xilinx traded higher after Advanced Micro Devices announced it will buy the latter in a $35 billion all-stock deal. The acquisition and anticipation for Microsoft’s afternoon earnings report drove tech stocks higher.
  • Yet the leaping tech sector failed to pull the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average into positive territory. A resurgence of coronavirus hospitalizations weighed heavily on financial and industrial stocks.
  • The mixed session follows the S&P 500’s worst day in a month. Monday saw major indexes tumble on the confluence of waning stimulus hopes and record new COVID-19 cases.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US stocks closed mixed on Tuesday as renewed concerns around surging coronavirus cases squared off with rallying tech stocks.

Advanced Micro Devices boosted the tech sector after announcing it will buy chipmaker Xilinx in a $35 billion all-stock deal. The purchase is set to close by the end of 2021 and will give AMD a significant leg up in competing with rivals such as Intel. Xilinx leaped on the news, while AMD sank throughout the day.

Microsoft also lifted the group as investors scooped up shares ahead of its third-quarter report’s afternoon release. Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook are all slated to report on Thursday, setting the tech sector up for a make-or-break trading day.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Tuesday:

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Though the Nasdaq composite rode tech stocks into a one-day gain, other sectors dragged on peer indexes. Financial and industrial stocks slammed the S&P 500 amid a worsening economic backdrop. The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence posted a surprise decline, and surging COVID-19 hospitalization counts across the US revived fears of a prolonged downturn.

Tuesday’s price action came after the S&P 500 fell by the most in a month on Monday. Investors faced a double whammy of exhausted stimulus hopes and record-high new COVID-19 cases in the US. Industrials tumbled after China announced sanctions against Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin over arms sales to Taiwan.

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Markets are poised to face increased volatility with one week left before the US presidential election. While Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, has enjoyed a healthy lead in polls, some analysts fear that a closer race could lead to a contested election and market chaos.

Not all economic data published Tuesday pointed to fresh weakness. US durable-goods orders grew 1.9% in September, the Census Bureau said in a preliminary report. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected orders to climb by just 0.5%. The reading joins other reports suggesting the economic recovery is stable and may not require more stimulus to continue.

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Bitcoin climbed as high as $13,756.33 as the cryptocurrency rally continued into its second week. The jump places bitcoin within striking distance of the $14,000 resistance level. The token has garnered fresh interest in recent weeks as investors look for more novel hedges against rising inflation.

Spot gold gained, rising as much as 0.5%, to $1,911.46 per ounce. The US dollar fell against a basket of major peers, and Treasury yields slid for the third straight day.

Oil prices rebounded after tanking on Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 3.3%, to $39.83 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, rose 2.5%, to $41.47 per barrel, at intraday highs.

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