US stocks mostly fall amid valuation concerns


NEW YORK – Metal producers and oil companies were among the rare standouts on Wednesday (April 14) as Wall Street stocks mostly fell amid concerns about excessive equity valuations.

The Federal Reserve’s survey of business conditions pointed to rising optimism as vaccinations against Covid-19 become common, but also emphasised supply chain snarls and increasing demand as consumers resume daily life with Covid-19 less of a threat.

Those warnings about crimped supplies lent support to ExxonMobil and other oil producers along with metals companies US Steel and Freeport-McMoRan. All finished with solid gains on Wednesday.

However, stocks more broadly were in retreat, with the Nasdaq Composite Index sinking 1 per cent to 13,857.84.

The Dow Industrial Average eked out a 0.2 per cent gain to 33,730.89, while the S&P 500 fell 0. 4 per cent to 4,124.66.

The lacklustre session comes as equity strategist worry that “equities are priced to perfection” following a series of stock records in anticipation of the just-begun season, said a note from CFRA Research’s Stovall.

Earnings reports from leading banks also pointed to a strong economic recovery, with JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo all releasing funds set aside in case of bad loans.

Goldman Sachs climbed 2.3 per cent and Wells Fargo won 5.5 per cent, while JPMorgan Chase dropped 1.9 per cent.

The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase made a successful Nasdaq debut, advancing 31.3 per cent from its reference price amid strong investor interest in bitcoin. However, shares finished at US$328.28, well below their session peak of US$429.54.

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