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Midday Market Update: Stock Gains Hold Strong

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Stocks maintained their strong gains by midday Wednesday, as investors had several positives and negatives to weigh. 

The S&P 500 rose 2.2%, aided by the gains of the components of the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which rose 2.8%. The 10-Year Treasury yield rose to 0.7%. Yields rise when prices fall. 

Investors were buying the correction dips in large cap growth tech stocks, which first rose on resounding fundamentals and then reached stratospheric valuation levels when it was uncovered that SoftBank and its brokers were bidding prices up, driven by the conglomerates hunger for the tech names, executed through its new trading division. A broader valuation rerating for stay- at-home beneficiaries, which may be experiencing a massive pull-forward of demand, my be underway. Slack  (WORK) - Get Free Report reported earnings that beat estimates and raised guidance, but the previously high-flying stock was pricing in a lot of growth and the company’s billings result and other metrics showed too much deceleration for investors’ liking. Slack shares tanked 15%. 

Value stocks were mixed, but mostly strong, as the economic recovery looks healthy at present. Consumer discretionary stocks were mixed — some up and some down — but supported by recent trends in apparel retail and restaurants that show continued strength in the rapid recovery of the consumer. The broader S&P 500 consumer discretionary index was up a few tenths of a percentage point. 

Against that positivity are reports of a relatively small fiscal stimulus bill that includes small unemployment benefits and no stimulus checks. 

Banks rose a tick as the yield curve expanded incrementally. Oil, industrials and materials rose. 

Investors were defensive, sending shares of large cap consumer staples, utilities and healthcare companies up well above 1%. 

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