Nasdaq sets record, as Dow Jones and S&P 500 fall

A post-holiday pall fell on US stocks on Tuesday even as the Nasdaq eked out a new record close amid slightly underwhelming data and the failure of OPEC+ talks.

The closely-watched monthly survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed the services sector is still growing strongly but had slowed more than expected in June amid supply issues, rising prices and difficulties hiring – and keeping – workers in the hot labor market.

That report sent Treasury debt prices higher.

There was little other economic news, but oil-related shares were “the top loser in afternoon action amid a tumble in crude oil prices on festering supply uncertainty after another breakdown in OPEC+ oil production talks on Monday,” according to Schwab analysts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6 percent to end at 34,577, while the broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.2 percent to 4,343 in the first session after the Independence Day holiday.

But the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to finish at 14,663, topping Friday’s record by 24 points.

Peter Hanks, market strategist at IG, notes the summer months tend to have lower trading volume, amid vacations and distractions of major soccer tournaments, which could serve as a “headwind” to stocks.

But news from the Federal Reserve on expected plans to begin to ease back on its massive bond purchase program “for the next few quarters to come will continue to be the main focus,” Hankds said, but that might not come until August.

There might be more hints about that debate in the minutes of the Fed’s policy meeting last month, due for release on Wednesday.

Multiple energy firms were among the list of biggest losers, including Occidental Petroleum which fell 6.4 percent and Baker Hughes which dropped 4.8 percent. (AFP)