Shares ended near session lows as concerns over rising interest rates again put pressure on valuations of more speculative names. Like As a result, tech heavyweights pressured major averages, even as Treasury yields retreated during the session.
The Nasdaq (COMP.IND.) -2.8% among major stock averages, relative to the S&P 500 (SP500) -1.9%. The Dow (DJI) -1.4% also prolonged losses. The declines put the major averages firmly in the red for the week. Over the past week, the Dow has fallen slightly from -1%S&P500 -1.7% and Nasdaq -2.2%.
Nine of the 11 S&P sectors ended lower, with Info Tech at the bottom of the list. All six megacaps were down, with Tesla recording the biggest drop. Energy was the best performing sector.
The 10-year Treasury yield fell 10 basis points to 1.92% and the 2-year one fell 7 basis points to 1.58%.
The New York Fed released its QE buying schedule at 3 p.m. ET, sending interest rates to new session lows.
Fed funds futures are now calling for a half-point rate hike in March and there’s talk of a hike between meetings, something that hasn’t happened since 1994.
Closely watched market watcher Mohamed El-Erian told Bloomberg that any move in between would represent a mistake as markets “smell blood” and conclude the Fed is panicking.
Shortly after trading began, the University of Michigan said its preliminary measure of consumer sentiment for February fell to its lowest level in a decade, with inflation expectations rising.
“Details in the report suggest that lower expectations for consumer financial health were the main driver of the decline,” Wells Fargo economists said. “Consumer sentiment on their finances from a year ago has fallen to the lowest level since 2013.”
“This should come as no surprise considering that the massive amount of budget support that households received at the start of the pandemic is now over, and households continue to face higher prices.”
Among active stocks, Newell Brands was one of the S&P’s best performers after strong earnings. Under Armor was among the weakest as it warned of supply chain issues.