S&P Plunges from All-Time High, NASDAQ Builds on Peak

The S&P 500 fell slightly on Friday, retreating from record levels, while the strength in major technology names pushed the NASDAQ to another all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrials decreased 179.03 points to 30,996.98

The S&P 500 slid 11.6 points from Thursday’s all-time high to 3,841.47.

The NASDAQ eked higher 12.15 points on top of Thursday’s all-time high to 13,543.06, supported by gains in Microsoft and Facebook.

Dow-component IBM dropped 9.9% after the company reported fourth-quarter sales below analysts’ expectations. Revenue fell 6% on an annualized basis, the fourth consecutive quarter of declines. Intel shares retreated 9.3% following a 6% pop on Thursday after it released better-than-expected earnings.

Hopes for a robust earnings season from the country’s largest communications and tech companies have kept the mega-cap stocks trending upward, and the major indexes near records, during the holiday-shortened week.

Apple rose another 1.6% Friday, bringing its weekly gain to 9.4%. Facebook climbed 9.2% and Microsoft rallied 6.3% this week. These big tech companies are scheduled to report earnings next week. A growing number of Republicans have expressed doubts over the need for another stimulus bill, especially one with a price tag of $1.9 trillion proposed by Biden.

Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has criticized the size of the latest round of proposed stimulus checks. Dissent from either party carries weight for Biden, who took office with a slim majority in Congress.

Meanwhile, the Senate overwhelmingly confirmed former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as Biden’s Treasury Secretary Friday. If confirmed, she would be the first woman to lead the department.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were higher, weighing yields to 1.09% from at Thursday’s 1.10%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices swooned $1.05 to $52.08 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices skidded $13.10 to $1,852.80 U.S. an ounce.