Monday, 10 December, 2018

Sudden jump in U.S. interest rates prompts Wall Street stock plunge

Jean Garcia | 11 October, 2018, 05:28

Technology stocks, the biggest winners in the market over the past year, took some of the worst losses. Apple and Amazon both had their worst day in two and a half years.

As long as earnings and the United States economy are continuing to grow, this market pullback will wind up being a healthy dip Alexander said.

The S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq joined in Wednesday's carnage, falling 3.3 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. The benchmark USA stock index hadn't suffered a five-day losing streak since November 2016, just before the presidential election. The Nasdaq composite fell 152 points, or 2 percent, to 7,585.

The S&P was down almost 4 percent in less than five sessions as of Wednesday afternoon.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost 3.1 percent or 830 points to finish at 25,613.35, in the biggest fall since February.

Heavyweights Apple shed 1.6 percent and Amazon.com fell 2.5 percent. It's fallen 6.3 per cent over the last five days.

Microsoft dropped 4 per cent to $107.82. Apple, Boeing, Nike and Visa all tumbled more than 4 per cent, while Caterpillar and 3M lost nearly 4 per cent.

Insurance companies slumped as Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle. Alphabet has dropped 15 percent since late July.

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Tom Cahill of Ventura Wealth Management said investors were unnerved by remarks from luxury company LVMH of a crackdown on some goods in China amid the country's bitter dispute with the US.

The biggest driver for the market over the last week has been interest rates, which began spurting higher following several encouraging reports on the economy.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3.23 percent from 3.20 percent late Tuesday and from 3.05 percent early last week. On Wednesday, the 10-year yield once again touched its highest level in seven years.

Technology and internet-based companies are known for their high profit margins, and many have reported explosive growth in recent years, with corresponding gains in their stock prices.

Gina Martin Adams, the chief equity strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence, said investors are concerned about the big increase in yields, which makes it more expensive to borrow money. As LPL Financials' Ryan Detrick notes, the S&P 500 just came off its least volatile third quarter since 1963, has been up for six consecutive months, and hasn't closed up or down more than 1% for more than three straight months, "one of the longest streaks ever".

Meanwhile struggling retailer Sears was in focus as the Wall Street Journal reported that it was preparing to file for bankruptcy. In 1987, stocks dropped more than 20 percent on a single day-Black Monday, Oct. 19-after a strong rally crashed into the Persian Gulf turmoil and trade deficits. "Since the market bottomed in March 2009, it's been more than 10 years of growth stocks leading the way non-stop". Brent crude, the worldwide standard, lost 65 cents to $84.35. The current benchmark interest rate is 2 to 2.25 percent.

INFLATION WATCH: U.S. wholesale prices rose a modest 0.2 percent in September, evidence that inflation is tame.

Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,193.40 an ounce.

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