Stocks dropped, weighed down by losses among communications and technology companies.
Stocks have taken a breather in recent sessions after powering higher for much of 2021. Money managers see several reasons to stay cautious, ranging from lofty valuations across parts of the market to the pace of the economy’s recovery.
Data Thursday showed 861,000 workers sought unemployment benefits last week, more than economists had expected.
Still, many investors remain upbeat about the outlook for stocks. They say the possibility of more fiscal stimulus, progress on distributing Covid-19 vaccines and gradual reopening of the economy should help drive earnings higher throughout the year.
“The vaccine rollout is well advanced in the U.S. and the evolution of the virus is rather positive,” said Bastien Drut, chief thematic macro strategist at CPR Asset Management. He added that he was encouraged by data showing declining case numbers and hospitalizations.