S&P 500 Takes a Tech Tumble as GE and Oil Stocks Surge, but Apple, Facebook Overwhelm Winners

S&P 500 Takes a Tech Tumble as GE and Oil Stocks Surge, but Apple, Facebook Overwhelm Winners

The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^SPX) closed down 15.7 points Wednesday, or almost 0.5%, ending a three-day streak of gains that started last Friday. Today's culprit was the usual recent suspect, with tech stocks falling sharply. The Technology Select SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLK), which tracks the tech stocks in the S&P 500, fell 1.4% today. This erased a day of huge gains for oil stocks, with the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLE) up 4.2% on a big oil-price surge. Financials and industrial stocks also gained today, albeit more modestly. Today's biggest winners included General Electric (NYSE:GE), with shares up 10.7%, followed by independent oil producers Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) and Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG), both up around 8%. But those gains weren't enough to offset the losses at the top of the index, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) falling 3% today; the combined $2.7 trillion market cap of these two is more than 40 times larger than today's three biggest gainers combined. As big tech moves, so moves the market. GE CEO: Worst is behind us, momentum building Shares of GE have been battered this year, down nearly half from the 2020 high, as the industrial conglomerate has struggled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on many of its end markets, not to mention the ongoing efforts to turn the struggling company around after years of missteps. Today, investors seem to have reacted positively to CEO Larry Culp's comments at an investor event. Reports say that Culp pointed out that the second quarter is likely to be the worst, and in the second half of the year, operating cash would likely turn positive after burning $3 billion in free cash in the first six months. Investors are taking Culp at his word, but GE investors have heard "We are getting there" from management before. Will things (finally) be different this time? Two important weekly U.S. oil market reports came out Tuesday and today, and those reports, which indicated a big drawdown in U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, gave investors some much-needed positive news about the state of the oil patch. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly report, U.S. commercial crude storage fell by 4.4 million barrels, helping to ease the glut that continues to weigh on a weak-demand, still-oversupplied market. As a ...
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