NEW YORK, May 7 — US stock indexes fell for a second straight day on Friday, with elevated Treasury yields dragging down growth shares, after stronger-than-expected jobs data fueled investor worries of aggressive interest rate hikes to tame surging inflation.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors declined, although energy .SPNY outperformed with a 1.7 per cent gain as oil prices climbed on supply concerns. O/R
Megacap growth stocks slipped, with the exception of Apple Inc AAPL.O, which rose 1.3 per cent. Wells Fargo WFC.N slid 1 per cent to lead losses among big banks.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR rose to 3.131 per cent earlier in the session.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped 0.6 per cent in choppy trading, adding to a near 5 per cent drop in the previous session, as investors feared bigger rate hikes, with inflation running at a four-decade high.
Most traders are expecting a 75 basis point hike at the US central bank’s June meeting, despite Fed chief Jerome Powell ruling that out.
“The market is focusing on two things: the expected increase in interest rates by the Fed over the next two or three meetings and quantitative tightening, which is going to have a bigger impact than rate hikes,” said Fall Ainina, director of research at James Investments.
“There’s a lot of volatility in the market, it is going up and down depending on what kind of piece of information you are getting.”
The Labour Department’s report showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 428,000 jobs in April, versus expectations of 391,000 job additions, underscoring the economy’s strong fundamentals despite a contraction in gross domestic product in the first quarter.
Unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 per cent in the month, while average hourly earnings increased 0.3 per cent against forecast of a 0.4 per cent rise.
“Nothing in today’s employment report would change the Fed’s expected path ... current market sentiment does not place a lot of confidence in the Fed getting inflation under control without a recession,” said David Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private Wealth US.
“We suspect this skepticism is likely to remain until there is clearer evidence that inflation has crested and has begun to fall appreciably. That could take several months.”
The CBOE volatility index .VIX, a measure of investors’ anxiety, spiked to 31.58 points and the three major US averages looked to close out their fifth straight weekly decline, although with smaller lossesthan the prior week.
At 12:25 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was down 141.57 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 32,856.40, the S&P 500 .SPX was down 15.68 points, or 0.38 per cent, at 4,131.19, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 72.17 points, or 0.59 per cent, at 12,245.52.
Under Armour Inc UAA.N slumped 22.4 per cent after the sportswear maker forecast downbeat full-year profit. Shares of rival Nike Inc NKE.N slipped 3.2 per cent.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.50-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.85-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week highs and 61 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 11 new highs and 694 new lows. — Reuters