U.S. Stocks Slip Amid Caution Driven by Rate Hike Expectations

U.S. stocks fell amid declines in financial, consumer and material shares as investors exercised caution after remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that interest rates are likely to rise next week.

The S&P 500 Index dropped 0.3 percent to 2,375.31 at 4 p.m. in New York as the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 20,954.34. The gauge is back below the 21,000 level after passing it for the first time last Wednesday.

U.S. Market

  • Financial shares slipped 0.9% as Navient, Lincoln National and MetLife lost at least 1.6%
  • Consumer discretionary stocks fall 0.4%, dragged down by department stores Macy’s Inc. and Kohl’s Corp.
  • VIX climbs 2.7%, snapping a three-day decline
  • Traders are betting on a 96% chance the Federal Reserve will raise rates this month, versus 40% less than two weeks ago, after several central bank officials last week signaled a willingness to increase borrowing costs
  • “We finally might get a pullback in the market,” Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co. LLC in New York, wrote in a note. “This would not be the worst thing in the world. We do not think it would turn into a more significant decline.”
  • The earnings season is drawing to a close, with about 73% of of those S&P 500 members that have reported beating profit estimates and a little over half exceeding sales forecasts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg
  • EARNINGS:
    • After-market Monday: MeetMe (MEET), K2M Group Holdings (KTWO), Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), Korn/Ferry International (KFY)
  • In Europe, stocks fell following their best weekly gain since December as mining shares dropped along with copper prices and Deutsche Bank AG dragged lenders lower
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