Business
    Next Score View the next score

    Slump for tech stocks overshadows gains by telecoms, banks

    At first glance, it didn’t seem as if stocks did much on Monday, but the modest move for the Standard & Poor’s 500 masked some dramatic changes beneath the surface. Telecom, bank, and other stocks that stand to benefit the most from the GOP’s drive to cut corporate tax rates jumped. Yet technology stocks slumped and gave up a chunk of the gains that have made them the best-performing part of the market, by far, this year. The S&P 500 ended up close to where it began the day, down 0.1 percent, to 2,639.44.

    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2 percent, to 24,290.05, and the Nasdaq fell 1.1 percent, to 6,775.37.

    The cross-currents swept through the market on the first day of trading after the Senate narrowly approved its proposal to revamp the tax system. Lower tax rates would help boost profits for companies, which already have been reporting resurgent earnings growth this year thanks to the improving global economy. If profits do accelerate, it could help allay worries that the stock market, which is still close to record highs, has climbed too far, too quickly.

    Advertisement

    Telecommunications companies pay some of the highest effective tax rates among the big companies in the S&P 500, so they stand to reap some of the biggest rewards of lower tax rates. Telecom stocks in the index jumped 1.6 percent, tied for the biggest gain of the 11 sectors in the index. Financial stocks, which analysts also expect to be winners from the tax overhaul, also climbed 1.6 percent.

    Get Talking Points in your inbox:
    An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    Technology companies are likely to get less of a boost. They already were paying the lowest effective tax rates of the 11 sectors in the S&P 500, analysts said. Tech stocks in the index dropped 1.9 percent, lagging far behind the rest of the market. It’s a very different position for the sector, which has nearly doubled the performance of the S&P 500 this year. The strong gains earlier in the year led some skeptics to say that tech stocks had become overly pricey.

    ‘‘It’s not that the tax bill is negative for tech companies,’’ said Ernie Cecilia, chief investment officer at Bryn Mawr Trust. ‘‘It’s just less positive for it than for other areas.”

    Adding some uncertainty: The Senate and House still need to iron out differences in their respective proposals.

    On Friday, the government releases its monthly jobs report, one of the last major economic reports before the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week on interest rates. Many economists expect the Fed to approve the third rate increase of the year.

    Advertisement

    In Europe, stock markets rallied as negotiations continued for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. France’s CAC 40 jumped 1.4 percent, and Germany’s DAX surged 1.5 percent. The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.5 percent.

    Asian markets were mixed. South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.1 percent, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.2 percent and Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.5 percent.

    In the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.37 percent.