The S&P 500 eked out a gain Thursday after losing ground going into the close, but downside momentum was kept in check by a chip-fueled rise in tech and strength in materials.
The S&P 500 rose 0.06%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%, or 158 points, the Nasdaq climbed 0.5%.
Materials were pushed higher by a rise in Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) and Nucor (NYSE:NUE) amid rising metal prices and fresh demand for the stocks that offer a hedge against inflation.
Energy was also one of the biggest sector gainers, sidestepping a fall in oil prices as investors continued to favor the sector amid expectations that a fall in spending from major oil companies will boost the bottom line.
“We’re overweight energy,” Sean O'Hara, president of Pacer ETFs, told Investing.com in an interview on Wednesday. “All the money that would have been invested in capex is going to go straight to [energy firms'] bottom line, and that's where the real tailwind will come from energy."
Tech clawed back some of its losses from a day earlier, underpinned by a Nvidia-led boost in chip stocks.
Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) rose more than 3% after Susquehanna raised its price target on the stock to $360.00 from $250.00) ahead of the chipmaker’s third-quarter results due Nov. 17.
"From a high level, we expect another beat-and-raise driven by continued strong GPU demand and (modest) share gains in the quarter,” Susquehanna said.
Big tech gave up gains to end in the red, with Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) closing in the red, but Meta, formerly known as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) ended the day just above the flatline.
Large-cap Chinese tech stocks including Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and JD (NASDAQ:JD).com racked up gains as both companies are expected to have benefited from the Singles Day online shopping bonanza in China.
On the earnings front, Disney and Beyond Meat were in the spotlight after disappointing quarterly results.
Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that fell short of Wall Street expectations amid slowing Disney+ subscriber growth.
Some on Wall Street believe that Disney+ subscriber growth is nearing saturation and will disappoint.
"Disney's focus on franchises led to excellent sign-up rates out of the gate, but we are increasingly convinced that the penetration of this fan base is close to saturated in launched markets," Atlantic Equities said as it cut its price on the stock to $172 from $219 per share.
Beyond Meat (NASDAQ:BYND) reported a wider than expected loss of 87 cents a share, sending its shares down more than 13%.
Bumble (NASDAQ:BMBL) plunged 19% after reported a surprise third quarter loss as paid users additions fell short of Wall Street estimates.
In other news, Rivian Automotive (NASDAQ:RIVN) added to its debut day gains from Wednesday, climbing 22% in its second day of trading.