The Dow industrials finished at an all-time high on Monday, but the broader market’s gains were hobbled by losses in the technology sector.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.61% gained 60.81 points, or 0.3%, to close at 21,891.12, pulling back from its best levels after hitting an intraday record earlier in the session at 21,929.80.
The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -1.11% declined 1.80 points, or less than 0.1%, to 2,470.30, with financials advancing 0.6% and energy gaining 0.2% to help lead the benchmark’s 11 sectors; meanwhile, tech and materials traded at least 0.5% lower to top the worst performers.
The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -1.68% fell 26.55 points, or 0.4%, to 6,348.12.
Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist at Capital Securities Management, said upbeat earnings from Dow-component Chevron Corp . /zigman2/quotes/205871374/composite CVX -2.35% and signs of strength in the housing market bolstered energy and banks shares.
“I had a miserable July but today everything that I own is up,” said Engelke, referring to the energy and financials sectors. He said overly bearish sentiment in the energy sector has put it in prime position to rally, with banks also supported by a healthy economic outlook.
For the month, the Dow registered a 2.5% return, while the S&P ended up 1.9% and the Nasdaq climbed 3.4% in July. The Nasdaq, which lost ground in June, has post eight positive months out of the past nine.
Among the slumping tech sector’s worst performers were Facebook Inc . , down 1.9%, while Alphabet Inc . /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL -7.68% /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG -7.44% closed off 1.2%. Among other internet names, Amazon.com /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN -2.02% finished down 3.2%, while Netflix Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX +1.07% wrapped with a decline of 1.3%.
Apple Inc . /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL -1.77% may have sway on how the rest of the week plays out for tech stocks, and may be the larger market, with the iPhone maker due to report results Tuesday.
Bill Stone, global chief investment strategist, at PNC Asset Management Group, said there were no apparent catalysts for the decline in the tech sector and speculated that market participants may be altering their holdings ahead of the end of the month.
“I think that there may be some portfolio repositioning at month-end because it is hard to put real fundamental data to [Monday’s moves],” Stone said.
Investors may be “standing on the sidelines,” until Apple reports, he said.
Investors also had one eye trained on White House drama, as Anthony Scaramucci left the post of White House communications director just 10 days after being named to the role.
Upheaval in the White House, including changes to President Donald Trump’s administration, and the failure of Senate Republicans to push through a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, has been viewed as a proxy for the president’s likelihood of getting an array of pro-business policies passed on Capitol Hill.