Wall Street falls, dollar hits lowest level since February

by Jonathan Adams
Wall Street

The DJIA shed 267.13 points, to 34,060.66, the S&P 500 declined 35.46 points, to 4,127.83, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 75.41 points, to 13,303.64

Wall Street stocks fell on Tuesday, May 18, with technology shares turning lower in late New York trading, while the US dollar touched its lowest level since late February.

The Nasdaq also reversed course to finish the day lower, while the Dow and S&P 500 added to declines late in the session. The S&P 500 technology index was the biggest drag on the benchmark S&P 500.

Investors were anxious ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s April policy meeting on Wednesday. Rising inflationary pressure in the US has been increasing investor speculation the Fed could possibly raise interest rates sooner than anticipated.

While few market-watchers expect big surprises from the minutes, “the market is bracing for a transition,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial in Newark, New Jersey. So there’s a little bit of de-risking going on.

Fed Vice-Chair Richard Clarida on Monday, pointed to the weak April jobs report as proof of lingering weakness in the economy.

Telecommunications shares dropped, while retailers mostly rose. Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, raised its full-year earnings forecast. AT&T added to declines from Monday, when it said it would cut its dividend payout ratio.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 267.13 points, or 0.78%, to 34,060.66, the S&P 500 declined 35.46 points, or 0.85%, to 4,127.83, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 75.41 points, or 0.56%, to 13,303.64.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index increased 0.17% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe added 0.04%.

Nominal US Treasury yields remained little changed, with the yield on 10-year Treasury notes rising 0.9 basis point at 1.649%, below a spike above 1.75% reached in late March.

Investors are awaiting the release of the Fed minutes, but nothing significant is expected, said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

It’s unlikely that we’re going to get material changes out of the FOMC minutes, he said.



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