markets

Tech, Once Again, Weighs on Stocks as Dollar Jumps: Markets Wrap

Updated on
  • Nasdaq 100 is heading toward a monthly loss of almost 6%
  • Greenback, Treasuries supported by faster-than-forecast growth
Trade Causes Concern as 'Death Cross' Emerges

Megacap tech shares slumped again Wednesday as pessimism about the sector showed few signs of letting up. The dollar jumped while Treasury yields held below 2.8 percent as data showed American economic growth beat estimates.

Volatility measures spiked as the Nasdaq 100 Index fell, with Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. among the biggest losers. The gauge is heading for its worst month in two years. The S&P 500 Index edged lower, hovering just above its average price for the past 200 days -- a level that’s set a line in the sand in the selloffs last week and in early February.

“The return of volatility is something a big number of people in the business have never experienced, but where we are now is the new old normal,” said Don Townswick, the director of equities at Hartford, Connecticut-based Conning, which manages $121 billion.

The 10-year yield briefly dipped below 2.75 percent for the first time since early February. Gold retreated and the yen tumbled. Crude slumped below $65 a barrel. European equities advanced after Asian stocks posted broad declines.

Technology shares have suffered the most from investor jitters this month after leading much of the bull-market charge in global equities during the past few years. Pressure is growing on the stocks amid speculation about a regulatory crackdown related to data privacy and antitrust concerns, U.S. threats to forbid Chinese investments in the sector and a move by traders to lock in their gains after the Nasdaq 100 soared more than 60 percent in the two years through mid-March.

“The fate of equity markets right now, also the fate of the bull market right now, is heavily connected with tech,” Max Kettner, a Commerzbank AG cross-asset strategist, told Bloomberg TV’s Francine Lacqua.

Here’s a list of some of the main events this week:

  • The big four euro-area economies are due to release March CPI readings this week.
  • The Treasury will probably auction about $294 billion of bills and notes this week, its largest slate of supply ever.

Terminal users can read more in our markets live blog.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 Index fell 0.3 percent at the close of trading in New York.
  • The Nasdaq 100 dropped 1.1 percent.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.5 percent.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index decreased 1.8 percent to the lowest in six weeks.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.6 percent.
  • The euro dipped 0.8 percent to $1.2301.
  • The British pound declined 0.6 percent to $1.4077.
  • The Japanese yen declined 1.5 percent to 106.97 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 2.78 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield declined five basis points to 1.36 percent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.50 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.9 percent to $64.66 a barrel.
  • Gold fell 1.5 percent to $1,325.48 an ounce, the biggest drop since July.
  • Copper fell 0.1 percent to $2.9965 a pound.

— With assistance by Garfield Clinton Reynolds, Natasha Doff, and Chris Anstey

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