U.S. stocks slumped sharply Tuesday, as a selloff for megacap, tech-related stocks blamed in part on inflation fears broadened out to drag down other sectors.
What are major benchmarks doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 602.34 points, or 1.7%, to 34,140.48.
The S&P 500
gave up 66.33 points, or 1.6%, to trade at 4,122.10.
The Nasdaq Composite
was down 180.92 points, or 1.4%, at 13,220.94.
On Monday, a tech-led selloff sent the Nasdaq down 2.6% to its lowest close since March 31, while the S&P 500 slumped 1%. The Dow gave up a gain of more than 300 points that had taken it to an all-time high above 35,000 to end the day down 34.94 points, or 0.1%.
What’s driving the market?
But tech shares came off early session lows, while other sectors, including cyclical areas expected to benefit most from the economic reopening, stumbled. The S&P 500 energy sector fell 2.7%, while industrials were off 2.1%.
Analysts expect a jump in consumer prices and supply shortages in goods like computer chips and some commodities as economies reopen and pent-up demand is unleashed by households, businesses and entire industries.
“We’re at a point of major readjustment following an unprecedented economic shock and this is fueling concerns that rising inflation will trigger central banks to tighten monetary policy which will hit asset prices,” said Nigel Green, chief executive of de Vere Group, in emailed comments.
“It is this scenario that is rattling markets and triggering a global selloff.”
Investors are also concerned about the U.S. labor market after a much smaller-than-expected rise in nonfarm payrolls in March was reported on Friday, while companies continue to report difficulties filling open positions.
The National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday its monthly survey found a record 44% of small businesses said job openings went unfilled in April.
Separately, the Labor Department on Tuesday said job openings in the U.S. topped 8 million in March for the first time ever. There were 7.5 million open jobs in February.
Investors will also hear from several Federal Reserve officials on Tuesday, including New York Fed President John Williams, Fed Gov. Lael Brainard, San Francisco President Mary Daly, Atlanta Fed Raphael Bostic, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.
Which companies are in focus?
L Brands Inc.
announced Tuesday that it would separate Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works into two publicly traded companies through a tax-free spinoff that should be completed in August 2021. Shares of L Brands fell 5.4%.
late Monday said revenue climbed in the latest quarter as the company saw positive results from its COVID-19 vaccine trials in the U.K. and South Africa. Shares were down more than 12%.
Shares of SmileDirectClub Inc.
were down 2.9% after it disclosed a cybersecurity incident and its financial repercussions.
shares were down 18% after the e-commerce retailer of secondhand luxury goods late Monday delivered a narrower first-quarter loss and sales that were above Wall Street expectations.
Shares of Perigo Co. PLC
were down more than 1% after the Dublin-based provider of consumer self-care products posted weaker-than-expected earnings for its first quarter on Tuesday morning.
Palantir Technologies Inc.
shares rose 4.3% after reporting results Tuesday morning.
What are other markets doing?
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note
rose 2.5 basis points to 1.623%. Yields and bond prices move in opposite directions.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.1% after trading at its lowest since late February.
Oil futures were under pressure, with the U.S. benchmark
down 0.4% at $64.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Gold futures
were lower, down 0.4% at $1,830 an ounce.
European equities fell sharply, with the Stoxx Europe 600
down 2.3% and London’s FTSE 100
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
dropped 2%, while the Shanghai Composite
rose 0.4% and Japan’s Nikkei 225