U.S. Stocks Remain Sharply Lower After Early Sell-Off

After moving sharply lower early in the session, stocks continue to see substantial weakness in afternoon trading on Monday. The major averages are seeing further downside after getting the New Year off to a rough start last week.

Currently, the major averages are off their worst levels of the day but continue to post steep losses. The Dow is down 412.65 points or 1.1 percent at 35,819.01, the Nasdaq is down 281.71 points or 1.9 percent at 14,654.19 and the S&P 500 is down 65.15 points or 1.4 percent at 4,611.88.

Concerns about the economic impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and the likelihood the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in the near future have contributed to the continued weakness on Wall Street.

Treasury yields have moved sharply higher in recent sessions, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note reaching its highest levels since January of 2020.

The jump in yields comes amid a more hawkish tone from the Fed, as the minutes of the central bank’s latest meeting indicated it plans to accelerate monetary policy normalization.

Worries about higher rates have led to particular weakness among high-growth tech stocks, dragging the tech-heavy Nasdaq down to its lowest levels in almost three months.

The sell-off on Wall Street also comes as traders look ahead to key inflation data as well as a Senate hearing on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s renomination.

Semiconductor stocks are turning in some of the market’s worst performances on the day, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index plunging by 2.6 percent to a two-month intraday low.

Substantial weakness also remains visible among retail stocks, as reflected by the 2.5 percent slump by the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index. The index fell to a nearly three-month intraday low earlier in the session.

Transportation, software and computer hardware stocks are also seeing considerable weakness on the day, moving lower along with most of the other major sectors.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Monday, with the Japanese markets closed for a holiday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi slumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index tumbled by 1.1 and the French CAC 40 Index plunged by 1.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their worst levels but continue to see modest weakness. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 1.1 basis points at 1.782 percent.

Source: Read Full Article