Stocks, Dollar Fall on Senate Tax Plan Concerns: Markets Wrap

Updated on
  • Tech stocks lead decliners after 10 days of gains; oil rises
  • Thanksgiving tax deadline ‘nothing short of a holiday miracle’

Corporate Leverage Can Be Market Concern, Says Koesterich

U.S. stocks stumbled Thursday, with losses widening after the Senate revealed that its tax plan would delay cuts to the corporate rate until 2019. Treasuries turned higher and the dollar extended losses.

All major U.S. equity gauges fell, with selling heaviest in technology shares that had been on a 10-day surge. Semiconductor stocks tumbled after Intel Corp. hired away a key executive at Advanced Micro Devices Inc. to run its new graphics chip business. 

“The market wants to see tax cuts this year,” said Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas. “That’s the reason were seeing the selloff now.”

The bond market took its main cue from technical factors, as sovereign debt halted a rally that started two-weeks ago. Corporate credit faltered amid a glut of year-end issuance, with the starkest declines coming among the lowest-rated companies. Volatility spiked as investors appear to be growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for meaningful fiscal reform with both houses of Congress struggling to put forward tax proposals that have reasonable chances of becoming law.

“Policy makers hope to pass a tax plan by Thanksgiving,” said Mark McCormick, North American head of foreign-exchange strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank. “But the looming political trade-offs and divergence in House and Senate proposals argue this deadline is nothing short of a holiday miracle.”

Michael Balkin, William Blair Small Cap Growth Portfolio Manager, discusses the selloff in U.S. stocks.

(Source: Bloomberg)

European equities fell the most since August as basic-resources shares dropped following a decline in industrial-metals prices. Inflation concerns also crept into markets, as the European Commission was the latest authority to raise growth forecasts. Sterling fluctuated amid a resumption in Brexit talks, while oil looked to halt a two-day drop.

President Donald Trump wrapped up his visit to Beijing with little in the way of trade concessions and no agreement on how to handle North Korea. It’s been a year since Trump’s election win and investors are taking stock of his promises to get tough on trade, cut taxes and slash regulations. Meanwhile, reports of fresh arrests in Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption added to geopolitical concerns.

Terminal users can read more in our Markets Live blog.

Here are the key events investors are watching:

  • The Philippines’ central bank announced its rate decision.
  • A number of central bankers were scheduled to speak Thursday, including the ECB’s Benoit Coeure, Yves Mersch, Vitro Constancio and Villeroy de Galhau and Sabine Lautenschlager.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index fell 0.4 percent to 2,584.62, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index dropped 0.5 percent.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index sank 1.1 percent, the biggest decrease since July. 
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.1 percent to the highest in about 10 years.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index dipped 0.1 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.3 percent. 
  • The euro gained 0.4 percent to $1.1644, the largest increase in a two weeks. 
  • The British pound rose 0.2 percent percent to $1.3148. 
  • The Japanese yen gained 0.4 percent to 113.37 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell less then 1 basis point to 2.3292 percent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield climbed five basis points to 0.375 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced four basis points to 1.265 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.5 percent to $57.07 a barrel.
  • Gold gained 0.4 percent to $1,286.14 an ounce, the highest in three weeks.
  • Copper fell 0.3 percent to $3.09 a pound, the lowest in a month.

— With assistance by Andreea Papuc, and Cormac Mullen

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