Stocks drift mostly lower on Wall Street in early trading

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | The Associated Press

People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. Asian stock markets followed Wall Street down on Wednesday after U.S. inflation was lower than expected amid unease about the impact of the spread of the coronavirus's delta variant. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Stocks are drifting lower in the early going on Wall Street Wednesday, though a sharp turn higher in energy prices is pushing energy companies to solid gains. The S&P 500 index was down less than 0.1%, and the the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.1%. Major casino operators were falling on concerns that their operations in Macau could be affected by a broad regulatory crackdown in China. Wynn Resorts fell 9.4% and Las Vegas Sands gave up 5.1%. Microsoft rose 1.2% after announcing a dividend increase and a new stock buyback program. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.29%.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

BEIJING (AP) — European stocks opened flat while Asian markets declined Wednesday after U.S. inflation was lower than expected amid unease about the impact of the coronavirus’s delta variant.

London and Frankfurt opened little-changed. Shanghai, Hong Kong Tokyo retreated.

Wall Street futures were higher a day after the benchmark S&P 500 index fell despite data showing consumer prices rose at their slowest rate in seven months in August.

“Initial optimism from a lower-than-expected print on the U.S. CPI was quickly overridden by global growth concerns,” Yeap Jun Rong of IG said in a report.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London gained less than 0.1% to 7,036.03 and Frankfurt's DAX was flat at 15,724.21. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.2% to 6,641.55.

On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2%.

On Tuesday, S&P 500 lost 0.6% after the government reported consumer prices in August rose 0.3% over the previous month.

The Dow dropped 0.8% and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.5%.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,656.22 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.5% to 30,51.71.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong tumbled 1.8% to 25,033.21.

Hong Kong-traded shares in Macau casinos plunged following reports of a possible crackdown on the industry in the former Portuguese colony and gambling center.

Wynn Macau lost 28%, Sands China declined 30%, MGM China gave up 24% and local operator SJM Entertainment dropped 21%.

The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.1% to 3,153.40 and Sydney's S&P-AS 200 retreated 0.3% to 7,417.00.

India's Sensex gained 0.9% to 58,746.52. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets declined.

Investor optimism about the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and central bank support for global economies is competing with anxiety about the impact of the delta variant and anti-disease measures on consumers and businesses.

Investors worry higher inflation might make the Federal Reserve and other central banks feel pressure to wind down easy credit and other stimulus. The Fed has said it believes a spike in U.S. inflation is temporary and interest rates will be kept low until a recovery is established.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude rose 82 cents to $71.29 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 1 cent on Tuesday to $70.46. Brent crude, the price basis for international oils, advanced 78 cents to $74.38 per barrel in London. It gained 9 cents the previous day to $73.60 a barrel.

The dollar fell to 109.33 Japanese yen from 109.63 yen. The euro gained to $1.1826 from $1.1804.

7 Tech Stocks That Are Heating Up as Anti-Trust Talk Cools Down

For the better part of the last year, Congress has had “big tech” in its crosshairs. But the reasons why largely depend on what side of the aisle a particular individual was on.

On the one hand, there are politicians who are concerned about the role that technology companies play in restricting the free flow of information. On the other hand, there are politicians that are concerned about these companies' stranglehold on competitors and innovation.

But big tech scored an important, albeit not final, victory in late June. At that time, a U.S. judge dismissed two separate complaints against Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). The question in front of the judge was whether Facebook held a monopoly on social media. Due to a surge in the company’s stock price after the ruling, Facebook became a member of the exclusive $1 trillion market cap club. While big tech companies will remain under the Congressional microscope, there’s no denying that investors are looking at the ruling as a signal to rotate back into tech stocks. And that’s the focus of this presentation. What tech stocks should you be buying as anti-trust pressure eases?

It would be easy to start and end the list with the FAANG stocks. After all, the motto “Keep it Simple Stupid” comes to mind. There are simply those companies that offer products that are changing our lives now and will continue to do so in the future. And furthermore, customers will continue to pay for their products.

And I do have a couple of these stocks on my list. But the bulk of the stocks on this list are less expensive alternatives to at least one of the FAANG stocks. It doesn’t mean they’re superior companies, but a rising tide tends to lift all boats. And that means these companies have a large upside and you can purchase the stocks for a lot less.

View the "7 Tech Stocks That Are Heating Up as Anti-Trust Talk Cools Down".

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