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S&P 500 slips from a record ahead of megacap tech earnings

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Traders working at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), today, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

Source: NYSE

The S&P 500 slipped from a record high on Monday ahead of a busy week of earnings reports from technology’s heaviest hitters.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 86 points after falling by more than 200 earlier in the overnight session. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures also both traded in negative territory.

Those declines came as shares in Hong Kong suffered heavy losses during the Asia trading session on Monday, with the Hang Seng index in the city plummeting 4%.

One of the busiest weeks of earnings reports is on deck, with Tesla kicking it off after the closing bell. Last week, CEO Elon Musk said the automaker would likely start accepting bitcoin for vehicle purchases again.

Big tech giants Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft are all set to report on Tuesday, and Google, Facebook, and Amazon will also report later in the week.

The second-quarter reporting season has been stronger than expected, providing support for equities as they climb back into record-high territory. So far, 88% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive EPS surprise, according to FactSet. If 88% is the final percentage, it will mark the highest percentage since FactSet began tracking this metric in 2008.

“U.S. equities remain resilient as they continue to climb the wall of worry into the record-high territory,” said Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Sandler. “An impressive start to earnings season has kept the buy the dip sentiment alive and offset concerns over peak growth and rising new cases of coronavirus.”

All three of the major averages finished at record closing highs last week after the markets tumbled at the start of the week on concerns about the spread of the delta variant of Covid and how it would potentially hinder the economic recovery.

The uncertainty briefly sent bond yields lower, and investors jumped into tech stocks. Both bonds and equities rebounded quickly by the end of the week.

“Investors are concerned about the impact on economic growth from the Delta variant, but the new strain should not pose a major market risk,” David Kostin, Goldman Sachs’ head of U.S. equity strategy, said in a note. “Vaccinations, equity demand from households and corporations, and attractive relative valuations will support equity inflows and prices.”

Also on Monday, bitcoin surged above $39,000 for the first time since mid-June as sentiment turned bullish following a recent sell-off that pushed the cryptocurrency below $30,000.

Investors will be watching the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting, beginning Tuesday. The Federal Open Market Committee and the Board of Governors are expected to issue a statement on the stance of monetary policy Wednesday. On Thursday, the Commerce Department will report second-quarter GDP data.

Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:

What is the stock market, and how does it work

The stock market can be a confusing and intimidating place for new investors. At its core, the stock market is simply an exchange where investors buy and sell shares of different companies. But how does this actually work, and what factors are involved in determining the value of these shares? In order to successfully navigate the world of stock market investing, it is crucial to understand these basic concepts and the many variables that can impact share prices.

In general, the value of a share is determined by several key factors, including the company’s financial performance, interest rates and inflation levels, consumer sentiment about the company’s products or services, and broader economic conditions. Additionally, there are other important considerations when investing in stocks such as risk tolerance and investment time horizon. By gaining a deeper understanding of how the stock market works, you can make more informed decisions about your investments and potentially achieve greater success in your trading efforts.


The risks and benefits of investing in stocks

When it comes to investing in stocks, there are both risks and rewards involved. On the one hand, stocks offer the potential for high returns, particularly over the long term. Over time, the stock market has historically outperformed other investment options such as bonds and cash. This means that if you are willing to invest for the long haul, you could potentially see a great return on your investment.

However, it is important to remember that stock prices can be volatile and you may lose money in the short term. Additionally, there is always the risk that a company you have invested in may suffer financial difficulties or go out of business entirely, which could lead to a total loss of your investment. Given these risks, it is important to do thorough research and only invest money that you can afford to lose. With the right approach, however, investing in stocks can be a profitable and exciting opportunity for investors of all experience levels.

So which is it? Risky or rewarding? The answer may lie somewhere in between. Ultimately, investing in stocks comes down to your own personal risk tolerance and investment goals. If you are comfortable with taking on some level of risk, and are willing to do the necessary research to make smart investment decisions, then stocks can be a great option for growing your wealth over time. But if you prefer a more conservative approach, there are other investment options that may be better suited to your needs. Regardless of whether you choose to invest in the stock market


How to start investing in the stock market

If you are interested in investing in the stock market, there are a few key steps that you can take to get started. The first step is to do your research and gain a thorough understanding of the different factors that impact share prices. This includes familiarizing yourself with concepts such as market trends, interest rates, company performance, consumer sentiment, and more.

Once you feel comfortable with these concepts, it is important to choose an investment strategy that aligns with your risk tolerance and time horizon. Some common approaches include value investing, growth investing, dividend investing, active trading, or passive indexing. Additionally, you may want to consider working with a financial advisor who can help guide your decisions and offer support along the way.


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