By Anna Hirtenstein and Amber Burton
The Dow Jones Industrial Average wobbled Tuesday as investors
tried to gauge the impact of a halt in the rollout of Johnson &
Johnson's Covid-19 vaccines and an uptick in inflation.
The blue-chip index inched down 68.13 points, or 0.2%, to
33677.27, stung by a 1.3% fall in J&J shares. The S&P 500
ticked up 13.60 points, or 0.3%, to 4141.59, setting a record
closing high. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 146.10
points, or 1.1%, to 13996.10.
Health authorities recommended a pause in using the Johnson
& Johnson vaccine following reports of blood clotting. The Food
and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention are reviewing data involving six reported cases of
clotting. The drugmaker said Tuesday that it would delay its
vaccine rollout in Europe, which had been planned for later this
"It means the pace at which you reach herd immunity is
decreased, and it will take longer for the reopening of the
economy," said Sebastien Galy, a macro strategist at Nordea Asset
Rival vaccine maker Moderna gained $10.31, or 7.4%, to $149.71.
Novavax jumped more than $19.01, or 11%, to $194.66. Pfizer rose 19
cents, or 0.5%, to $37.16.
In addition to the unexpected vaccine news, Bill Northey, senior
investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, said he is
looking forward to the coming earnings reports. JPMorgan Chase,
Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of America and others are on tap to
report this week.
"We've entered the first edge of the first-quarter earnings
reporting season, and we're looking toward tangible results from
corporate America -- how they are experiencing and what their
outlook looks like for the balance of this year," he said. "We're
going to get a very data rich period of time over the next three
weeks as we digest first-quarter earnings reporting."
In other health-related news, NovoCure jumped $65.45, or 50%, to
$197.33, after the developer of treatments for tumors gave an
update on a trial of a treatment for non-small cell lung
Fresh data also showed that U.S. consumer prices picked up
sharply in March as the economic recovery gained momentum, partly
reflecting higher gasoline prices. The Labor Department reported
that the consumer-price index jumped 2.6% in the year ended
Investors in both stocks and bonds are seeking to assess whether
the projected U.S. economic recovery will trigger a sharp rise in
inflation that may remain for a protracted period. Policy makers
have repeatedly said they expect any increase over the next few
months will prove to be fleeting. An uptick in inflation
expectations earlier this year led to a rise in bond yields, and
damped appetite for richly valued technology stocks last month.
"The equity market is a bit stretched in valuation," Ludovic
Subran, chief economist at Allianz, said before the inflation data
was released. "If yields are going a bit higher on the back of
stronger inflation, a lot of institutional investors could rotate
their portfolios out of very risky equities to less risky bonds and
still get quite a comfortable margin."
In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note ticked
down to 1.622%, from 1.674% on Monday. Yields fall when bond prices
rise. The 10-year yield shot up as high as 1.749% at the end of
March, from 0.915% near the start of the year.
Monica Defend, global head of research at asset manager Amundi,
said she expects more volatility in the bond market this year.
"This is what we worry about the most," Ms. Defend said.
"Inflation expectations will play a role at the same time as growth
will be tested, in terms of the robustness of the recovery."
Higher bond yields could weigh on equity markets by creating a
more attractive alternative to stocks, she said. But stocks will
probably continue to climb as long as the economy grows, even if
inflation moves higher, she added.
Brent crude, the international gauge for oil, climbed 0.6% to
$63.67 a barrel. A brightening outlook and stimulus packages will
boost economic activity and oil demand this year, the Organization
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Tuesday.
Bitcoin traded above $63,000 at a record. Coinbase, the largest
U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, is planning to go public
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 inched up 0.1%.
In Asia, most major benchmarks rose. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index added
0.7%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 0.2%. The Shanghai
Composite Index retreated 0.5% after data showed that Chinese
exports in March had risen less than economists had expected,
resulting in a smaller trade surplus than anticipated.
Write to Anna Hirtenstein at email@example.com and Amber
Burton at Amber.Burton@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 13, 2021 17:55 ET (21:55 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.