Wall St extends losses

United States stocks close lower, Treasury yields jump as markets struggle to overcome recent losses amid Fed scrutiny.

United States stocks closed broadly lower, extending last week's losses, as Treasury yields continued their grind higher on speculation of a Federal Reserve retreat from easy-money policies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 70.73 points, or 0.5%, to 15010.74 points.

The S&P 500-stock index slipped 9.77 points, or 0.6%, to 1646.06 points.

The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 13.69 points, or 0.4%, to 3589.09 points.

Last week, the Dow industrials shed 2.2%, in their biggest single-week decline since 2012. Those losses came as Treasury yields jumped. Yields rose to 2.827% last week, from 2.580% a week earlier, in the biggest weekly gain since June, as upbeat labor-market data sparked speculation that the Federal Reserve would begin to withdraw stimulus measures as early as September.

The market is "having indigestion over" a perceived higher chance of less Fed stimulus, said Kristina Hooper, head of US investment strategies at Allianz Global Investors, which manages $US409 billion. "We've anticipated greater volatility, and greater reaction to every data point because the Fed has made it clear that its decision will be data-driven."

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond continued to push higher Monday, rising to settle at 2.884% as prices fell.

Expectations of a Fed pullback "continue to seep into the psyche of investors," said Mark Spellman, portfolio manager with EULAV Asset Management. "You're seeing this steady creep up in yields...It's becoming more and more part of the fabric of how people are trading."

Stock trading volume was light, as Monday's economic calendar was nearly empty. The Fed will remain in the spotlight this week, with the minutes from the central bank's latest policy-setting meeting due out Wednesday. Investors have been keeping a close eye on communications from the Fed, as they try to discern when the central bank will start to pare back on its aggressive easy-money policies.

"There certainly is a fair amount of angst built up for September," said Jim Dunigan, chief investment officer at PNC Wealth Management, which oversees about $116 billion in assets. "We'll all see some volatility in the marketplace."

But Allianz's Ms Hooper said that she thinks the market is overestimating the likelihood of the Fed pulling back on its stimulus.

"We don't expect the Fed will unless it's confident that this economic recovery has legs to stand on," she said. Because of that, she said, the firm is using recent weakness to add to its stock-market exposure.

Technology stocks outperformed, losing just 0.1% as sector giants Apple and Intel rose. Apple gained 1.1%. Its shares are up 13% this month, and the company got a boost recently after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a large position in the company.

Intel was the biggest gainer in the Dow, rising 1.7% after a Wall Street analyst upgraded the stock to "neutral," the equivalent of a hold recommendation, from "underweight," the equivalent of a sell rating.

Financial stocks were among the biggest decliners in the S&P 500, with the sector down 1.3%. J.P. Morgan Chase dropped 2.7%, and had the biggest losses in the Dow after The Wall Street Journal reported that the bank could replace Bank of America as the U.S. lender with the most legal troubles.

Gold futures slipped 0.4% to settle at $1,366.20 a troy ounce, while crude-oil futures shed 0.3% to $107.10 a barrel. The dollar eased against the euro and rose against the yen.

European stocks slipped, as German bond yields ground higher alongside U.S. Treasury yields. The Stoxx 600 index closed 0.5% lower, Germany's DAX lost 0.3% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.5%.

Asian stock markets had a choppy trading session, with a tumble in the rupee setting off a 1.6% drop in India's S&P BSE Sensex Index. Economic data weighed on shares in Indonesia, with the benchmark JSX Composite falling 4.7%.

China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.8%, following a volatile session Friday that saw a spike of six% in a matter of minutes after a trading glitch from a Chinese brokerage firm. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.3%.

InvestSMART FORUM: Come and meet the team

We're loading up the van and going on tour from April to June, with events on the NSW central & north coast, the QLD mid-north coast and in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Come and meet the team and take home simple strategies that you can use to build an investment portfolio to weather any storm. Book your spot here.

Want access to our latest research and new buy ideas?

Start a free 15 day trial and gain access to our research, recommendations and market-beating model portfolios.

Sign up for free

Related Articles