US STOCKS-S&P 500 slips but closes near record level

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  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-S&P 500 slips but closes near record level

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP ) rises after rating upgrade

* Job openings rise more than expected in Feb

* IMF raises global growth view (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments to close)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 slipped on Tuesday but stayed near closing record highs posted in consecutive sessions, as investors weighed more strong U.S. economic data against nervousness about upcoming quarterly earnings reports.

U.S. job openings rose in February to a two-year high while hiring picked up. The data came on the heels of Friday's strong payrolls report and a report on Monday showing activity in the service sector climbed to a record high in March. International Monetary Fund raised its global growth forecast to 6% this year from 5.5%, a rate not seen since the 1970s. with an upcoming earnings season expected to show S&P profit growth of 24.2% from a year earlier, according to Refintiv data, investors may be waiting to see how strong the results will actually be.

"The big unanswered question is how open the economy is right now and how many people are out there," said Stephen Massocca, Senior Vice President at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.

"These security prices are reflecting an anticipation that the economy is going to get back to normal sooner rather than later and it is not exactly clear where we are in that process."

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 96.35 points, or 0.29%, to 33,430.84, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 4.09 points, or 0.10%, to 4,073.82 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 7.21 points, or 0.05%, to 13,698.38.

Gains on Wall Street were muted, with the Dow slightly lower a day after a rally sent it and the S&P 500 to record highs. Investors were assessing the staying power of gains in economically sensitive sectors such as industrials .SPLRCI and materials .SPLRCM that have been leading the charge higher.

Shares of many economically sensitive companies are classified as value .RLV stocks. But growth .RLG , which includes many stocks in the technology .SPLRCT and communication services .SPLRCL sectors, has shown signs of life.

Large U.S. fiscal and monetary stimulus measures and a swift rollout of vaccines have pushed the S&P 500 and Dow to record levels, with the CBOE volatility index .VIX retreating to pre-pandemic lows.

Still, some investors remain worried about the possibility of rising inflation and proposals for higher taxes. In addition, other countries continue to have difficulty containing the coronavirus. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday the country is facing a very serious third wave. Inc SNAP.N jumped 5.12% after Atlantic Equities upgraded its rating on the photo-messaging app owner's shares to "overweight" from "neutral". Cruise Line Holdings Ltd NCLH.N added 4.61% as it said it would begin sailing outside the United States from the Caribbean and Greek Isles in July, restarting trips after a year-long hiatus brought on by the pandemic. 1-year spread between growth and value stocks


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