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Nasdaq drags on Wall Street, bond yields dip

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, walks past an electronic board displaying Russian Trading System (RTS) Index, Japan’s Nikkei index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average outside a brokerage in T
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By Huw Jones and Pete Schroeder

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were mixed in early trading on Wednesday while oil regained some ground as investors juggled corporate earnings with what rising rates and the war in Ukraine could mean for the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.58% in early trading, while the S&P 500 was largely flat. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.95% after a disappointing quarterly report from Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) that showed the streaming giant lost subscribers for the first time in over a decade.

The MSCI all-country stock index was 0.25% firmer.

Investors kept a wary eye on 10-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) yields, which have broken above negative territory for the first time since March 2020.

TIPS yields were down on Wednesday at -0.05%, having briefly turned positive for a second day, rising to as high as 0.035%.

A rise in real yields poses a fresh headwind for risky assets such as stocks, especially big tech firms which report earnings next week.

“You are going to have to see real yields in much more positive territory before they make stock markets less attractive,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

Investors will get a fresh glimpse into the Federal Reserve’s economic outlook when it issues its “Beige Book” of economic conditions from late February to early April on Wednesday. The central bank is expected to continue to roll out rate hikes at upcoming meetings in its bid to get a grasp on spiking inflation.

“The Fed’s record shows that achieving soft landings whilst attempting to rein in inflation with rate hikes of this magnitude is next to impossible. On top of this, in virtually all previous hiking cycles, inflation started at much lower levels than in this one,” wrote Deutsche Bank (ETR:DBKGn) analysts in a note.

The dollar climbed to a fresh two-decade peak to the yen, buoyed as the Bank of Japan stepped into the market again to defend its ultra-low interest rate policy. But the dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six currencies, was down 0.58% to 100.373.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were slightly down to 2.8686%, after flirting with 3% earlier in the day.

(GRAPHIC: US TIPS – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/dwpkryrkzvm/US%20TIPS.JPG)

OIL RECOVERS

Oil prices stabilized after large losses earlier in the week, as a drop in U.S. oil inventories and concerns over tighter supplies from Russia and Libya drove a recovery.

Brent crude was last up 0.1% at $107.33 a barrel, while U.S. crude was flat.

Spot gold was up slightly, recovering 0.04% after posting its lowest in a week as bond yields eased.

Wall Street mixed, oil stabilizes as investors eye earnings, Fed

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