Dow hits record high on cyclical boost ahead of Fed minutes; tech falls

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(Reuters) -The Dow hit a record high on Wednesday as investors swapped technology stocks for economy-linked cyclicals that stand to benefit from a high interest rate environment, ahead of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting.

FILE PHOTO: The Wall St. sign is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in early afternoon trading with value-oriented energy, financials and materials shares leading the pack.

Tech giants including Apple Inc Google-owner Alphabet Inc, Amazon.com, Meta Platforms and Microsoft Corp fell between 0.5% and 2.2% to weigh the most on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes.

Growth shares were also under pressure from a recent rise in U.S. Treasury yields, sparked by growing angst towards the prospect of interest rate hikes by the Fed to curb inflation. [US/]

“We’re seeing a decided shift from technology as the yields on the 10-year jumped,” said John Lynch, chief investment officer for Comerica Wealth Management.

“You just saw some of those positions unwind but nonetheless, higher market interest rates are weighing on technology.”

The U.S. central bank said last month it would end its pandemic-era bond buying in 2022, signaling at least three interest rate hikes for the year. Minutes from the meeting are due at 1400 ET/1900 GMT.

Salesforce.com Inc slid 5.4% after UBS lowered its rating on the stock to “neutral” from “buy”.

At 12:07 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 92.07 points, or 0.25%, at 36,891.72, the S&P 500 was down 8.05 points, or 0.17%, at 4,785.49 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 144.08 points, or 0.92%, at 15,478.64.

Intel Corp jumped 4.1% and was the top percentage gainer on the Dow after Northland Capital Markets upgraded the chipmaker’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform”.

The ADP National Employment report showed private payrolls increased by 807,000 jobs last month, more than double of what economists polled by Reuters had forecast.

The report comes ahead of the Labor Department’s more comprehensive and closely watched nonfarm payrolls data for December on Friday.

Peloton Interactive edged 0.8% lower after J.P. Morgan cut its price target on the fitness firm’s stock on expectations of softer demand.

AT&T Inc rose 3.8% after the U.S. telecom company added 880,000 monthly paying phone subscribers in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Citigroup analysts said they now expect the S&P 500 index to touch 5,100 by the end of 2022 on the back of strong corporate earnings.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.17-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.38-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 59 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 69 new highs and 109 new lows.

Reporting by Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel