Dow Jones – Asian markets pull back in light trading
Shares were lower in Asia in thin trading Monday, with many markets including those in Tokyo and Shanghai closed for holidays.
The declines follow a retreat Friday on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 gave up 0.7% but still closed out its best month so far this year.
Markets have mostly climbed in recent weeks as investors remain optimistic that the pandemic is slowly and steadily coming to a close, at least in the United States. The S&P 500 rose 5.2% in April, its best monthly gain since November 2020, when President Joe Biden was elected.
In much of Asia and many other countries, caseloads have surged and vaccination levels remain low.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
lost 1.6%, and the Kospi
in South Korea slipped 0.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
inched 0.1% lower, while shares fell in Singapore
U.S. futures were higher, with the contracts for both the Dow industrials
and the S&P 500
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 1.62%.
With many markets closed there was little in the way of news to drive trading.
On Friday, the S&P 500
closed at 4,181.17. The index eked out a gain of less than 0.1% for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 0.5% to 33,874.85 and the Nasdaq
lost 0.9% to 13,962.68.
Investors backed away from technology, financial and communication stocks. Despite the decline, the S&P 500 ended April with a 5.2% gain, its best month since November 2020, when President Joe Biden was elected. It logged a gain of about 28% between November and April.
Corporate earnings have helped drive recent gains. More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results, which show earnings growth of 54% percent so far for index, according to FactSet.
Investors will get another big dose of earnings reports to start off May, including results from drugmakers Eli Lilly
as well as Pepsi
the railroad CSX
and drugstore giant CVS
Investors will also get April’s jobs report this week.
In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil
shed 14 cents to $63.44 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gave up $1.43 on Friday to $63.58 per barrel. Brent crude
the international standard, lost 19 cents to $66.57 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar
climbed to 109.49 Japanese yen from 109.30 yen.