Dow falls 561 points, tech stocks plunge as spiking bond yields rattle investor nerves

stock trader worried

Tech stocks led a plunge in US stocks as the 10-year Treasury yield spiked to its highest point in a year. 

The 10-year yield hit a high above 1.6%, punching above 1.5% for the first time since February 21, 2020. The move came just a day after it pushed past 1.40%.

“Thursday’s stock market declines are largely driven by the 10-year Treasury yield breaching the crucial 1.5% level. Higher Treasury yields call for lower stock market valuations. Rising bond yields make stocks look less attractive. If an investor can score a higher yield in the bond market, they may move money out of stocks and into bonds,” said James McDonald, Hercules Investments CEO. 

“In addition to making stocks look less attractive, rising bond yields are also a drag on businesses and the economy. Rising bond yields generally result in higher borrowing costs,” he added.

Better-than-expected jobless claims Thursday morning played into the narrative that the US economy is on pace for strong economic growth this year, further fueling expectations for an increase in inflation. 

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, and Nokia climbed higher on Thursday as Reddit traders returned to their favorite nostalgia-trade stocks. The GameStop surge could be in part to blame for this week’s stock market sell-off as hedge funds scramble to reduce leverage, according to Fundstrat’s Tom Lee. 

Best Buy stock slumped over 10% on Thursday, hurt by fourth-quarter revenue that fell short of Wall Street’s target and the electronic retailer’s outlook for a potential decline in same-store sales in the current quarter.

Shares of Tesla slipped as much as 4% on Thursday as a report said the EV maker will idle the Model 3 line at its Fremont, California factory for two weeks. Staff on the Model 3 line in Fremont were told production would be shut down until March 7 without an explanation, according to unnamed Bloomberg sources.

Bitcoin hovered around $49,000. Ark Invest founder Cathie Wood said she could see the cryptocurrency’s market cap swelling into the trillions during a panel Thursday.

Oil prices were mixed. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2%, to $63.34 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell by 0.31%, to $66.83 per barrel.

Gold fell around 1.5%, to $1,769.90 per ounce. 






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Tech stocks tumble as investors balk at lofty valuations

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City

US stocks were mixed on Monday with tech stocks pulling back over valuation concerns while investors weighed what rising yields could mean for inflation.

Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee says the case for cyclical stocks within energy, industrials, consumer discretionary, materials, and financials is strengthening as coronavirus cases fall and the US economy begins to re-open.

US lawmakers will debate on President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan act this week. Also, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell will deliver testimony to the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on Monday:

Shares of Churchill Capital IV spiked as much as 19% on Monday after a Bloomberg report said a merger with the electric-vehicle maker Lucid Motors could come as soon as Tuesday. The report follows weeks of rumors that special-purpose acquisition company Churchill would merge with Lucid. 

Famed Reddit trader Keith Gill has increased his stake in GameStop, according to a screenshot he posted to Reddit on Friday. Gill, who goes by Roaring Kitty on YouTube and Twitter and DeepF—ingValue on Reddit, now owns 100,000 shares of the video-game retailer, representing a double of his previous common share stake of 50,000 shares. 

General Electric gained as much as 5.6% on Monday but Goldman Sachs predicts the stock could jump roughly 20% to $15 per share. Analysts from the firm sat down with GE executives on Friday to discuss the company’s operations and financials. The analysts came away “encouraged” by free cash flow and power business momentum at the company.

Bitcoin tumbled as much as 17% on Monday after hitting a record above $58,000 over the weekend, though Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino says daily price movements are “more of a sideshow.”

“Today’s price movement may galvanize bitcoin’s many critics, including those who recently dismissed the leading cryptocurrency as an economic sideshow. Such criticism misses the point and the profound impact it is starting to have. For many of the battle-tested exchanges that have weathered the market fluctuations, volatility isn’t new and is to be expected in such a young market. For many in the industry, development and deployment is priority,” Ardoino said on Monday.

Oil prices spiked. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 4.14%, to $61.69 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, jumped 3.7%, to $65.24 per barrel.

Gold rose 1.75% to $1,808.60 per ounce, at intraday highs.

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US stocks dip as market rally pauses near record highs

NYSE Trader Blur
Traders on the floor react before the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange on March 9, 2020 in New York.

  • US stocks edged lower from all-time highs on Friday as investors mulled how much further the market could climb.
  • Optimism around vaccinations and new stimulus has run up against concerns of unsustainable valuations.
  • Bitcoin traded around $47,500 after notching a record high late Thursday. Adoption from BNY Mellon, Mastercard and Tesla sent prices soaring through the week.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US equities fell slightly on Friday as bullish investors stopped to take stock of the market’s record-setting rally.

The S&P 500 climbed to an all-time high on Thursday as stimulus hopes and declining jobless claims bolstered bullish sentiments. Momentum has since stalled as investors weigh whether stocks have room to move higher. While Democrats continue to push for a $1.9 trillion relief package, stretched valuations and lasting pain in the labor market stand to curb further gains.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Friday:

Read more: A crypto CEO breaks down why Tesla adding bitcoin to its balance sheet will create a ‘domino effect’ that lifts the cryptocurrency to $100,000 by the end of 2021 – and says Dogecoin is destined for a GameStop-style plunge

Separately, the emergence of new COVID-19 strains threatens optimism around an improving pace of vaccination. The US administered 1.62 million doses per day on average last week, bringing the nationwide total to 48 million vaccinations. President Joe Biden announced Thursday the drive will accelerate further still, with the US completing orders for 100 million additional doses from Pfizer and Moderna.

Yet public health experts have warned the shots are less effective against new, rapidly spreading strains of COVID-19. Investors are sure to monitor whether the UK and South African virus variants will cut into efforts to reach herd immunity.

Coronavirus case counts suggest the strains aren’t yet throwing the US into another wave of infections. The country reported 103,024 new cases on Thursday, down significantly from levels seen just one month ago. Hospitalizations declined further to 74,225, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

Earnings season continued. Disney gained after reporting earnings and revenue above Wall Street’s expectations. Subscribers for its Disney Plus streaming service neared 95 million even as a free-trial deal with Verizon customers ended, the company said.

Read more: Wall Street veteran Peter Kraus breaks down why investors should expect about a 10% to 15% market correction ahead – and shares his thoughts on the GameStop drama, SPAC mania, and bitcoin craze.

Bumble gained again after soaring 64% in its Thursday trading debut. The dating app raised $2.2 billion on Wednesday offering 50 million shares for $43 each. The post-IPO pop suggests demand for new offerings will remain strong in 2021.

Bitcoin stabilized around $47,500 after falling from a record-high of 48,925.53 Thursday night. Backing from industry giants including Tesla and BNY Mellon has reinvigorated the cryptocurrency and lifted prices throughout the week.

Spot gold edged as much as 0.81% lower, to $1,810.67 per ounce. The US dollar strengthened against a basket of Group-of-20 currency peers and Treasury yields climbed.

Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped as much as 1.4%, to $57.41 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, was down 1.3%, to $60.34 per barrel, at intraday lows before paring most losses.

Read more: JP Morgan says 2021 is a ‘stockpickers’ paradise with big money-making opportunities’ – Here’s the firm’s 22 ‘highest conviction’ small-cap investment ideas

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Dow climbs 345 points as concerns of Reddit-fueled volatility cool

Stock Market Traders
  • US stocks rose for the second straight session as day-trader volatility eased from last week’s highs.
  • GameStop, AMC Entertainment, and other Reddit darlings fell as retail investors took profits.
  • Alphabet and Amazon are set to influence Wednesday’s action by reporting earnings after the market close.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US equities gained for the second straight day as the unwinding of retail-trader volatility aided sentiment.

Stocks recently boosted by an army of casual investors sank as profit-taking finally caught up with their weeks-long rallies. GameStop, AMC, and BlackBerry all traded lower, though not harshly enough to erase their steep rallies. Traders in the Wall Street Bets subreddit urged members to keep holding shares, but brokers’ trading restrictions and concerns about the bubble bursting have driven selling.

Elsewhere, investors cheered President Joe Biden’s push to pass a massive economic stimulus bill. The president met with 10 Senate Republicans on Monday to discuss their much smaller counterproposal. The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said that though the meeting was “productive,” the administration would “not settle for a package that fails to meet the moment.”

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

Read more: Buy these 26 heavily shorted stocks as retail traders trigger wild rallies in Wall Street’s least liked names, Wells Fargo says

Stocks were also lifted by signs that the worst stage of the coronavirus pandemic is abating. Daily new cases have fallen to their lowest since early November, and hospitalizations have trended lower in recent weeks. Vaccinations have accelerated, suggesting the country could be on its way to a reopening.

Earnings season charges on after the close with Google’s parent, Alphabet, and Amazon set to report quarterly figures. The companies’ large weightings in benchmark indexes mean their reports could drag the broader market lower on Wednesday or extend the week’s rally.

Pfizer, UPS, and Exxon Mobil all climbed after reporting earnings ahead of the market open.

Read more: The investing chief at a $200 million hedge fund that earned 300% on its Bed Bath & Beyond trade breaks down why the GameStop mania is ‘just the beginning’ – and shares another stock he believes will similarly spike

Virgin Galactic leaped for the second consecutive session amid high hopes for a new test flight. The company said on Monday that it would conduct a rocket-powered trial as early as February 13.

Bitcoin neared $35,000 after trading below the $34,000 support level for much of the weekend. The popular cryptocurrency has regained some momentum in recent sessions following its late-January slide below $30,000.

Spot gold slid 1.7%, to $1,829.91 per ounce, at intraday lows. The US dollar weakened slightly against a basket of Group-of-20 currency peers, and Treasury yields rose.

Oil prices climbed. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 2.7%, to $55.02 per barrel, its highest level in a year. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, gained 3.5%, to $57.84 per barrel, at intraday highs.

Read more: The GameStop mania driven by Reddit traders isn’t simple market trolling. It’s a populist movement threatening to disrupt the financial system to a degree Occupy Wall Street only dreamed of.

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US stocks climb amid optimism around Biden’s COVID-19 plan and stimulus push

NYSE traders
  • US stocks gained on Thursday as investors cheered the Biden administration’s plan to better tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • President Joe Biden on Wednesday revealed plans to accelerate testing, vaccine rollouts, and reopenings.
  • Initial jobless claims fell to 900,000 last week, according to the Labor Department. Economists expected claims to total 935,000.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities rose on Thursday as investors bet on the Biden administration to accelerate the nation’s economic recovery.

President Joe Biden unveiled new plans for how the government will tackle the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday. The president aims to sign 10 executive orders and invoke the Defense Production Act to accelerate testing, vaccine distribution, and reopen schools and businesses.

Efforts to better curb on the virus’s spread are set to join a push for additional fiscal support. The president called for a $1.9 trillion stimulus package earlier in the month that includes $1,400 direct payments, expanded unemployment insurance, and relief for states and municipalities.

Republicans are likely to oppose the measure, having previously balked at passing new aid for governments. Still, expectations for another large-scale spending bill have led analysts to lift growth forecasts and S&P 500 targets.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:

Read more: The chief investment strategist at a $9.6 billion volatility-focused money manager breaks down why the stock market is poised to get more chaotic in 2021 – and shares how investors can take advantage of it

Tech stocks continued to climb after Netflix’s healthy earnings beat boosted indexes the session prior. Equities hit record highs on Wednesday as Biden’s inauguration amplified hopes for fresh fiscal stimulus and a stronger economic recovery. The jump was the largest Inauguration Day return in nearly a century.

In economic data, weekly filings for unemployment benefits totaled an unadjusted 900,000 last week as the labor market’s recovery continued to push up against elevated COVID-19 cases. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected claims to reach 935,000. 

Continuing claims, which track Americans receiving unemployment-insurance payments, fell to 5.1 million for the week that ended January 9. That came in below the median economist estimate of 5.3 million claims.

“Fiscal stimulus prospects, along with broader vaccine diffusion, are pointing to a brightening labor market outlook but with the pandemic still raging, claims are poised to remain elevated in the near-term,” Lydia Boussour, lead US economist at Oxford Economics, said.

Read more: We spoke to Winklevoss-backed crypto platform Gemini about bitcoin, how to use stable coins, and why regulation won’t kill the boom in digital currencies

United Airlines sank after its fourth-quarter report missed Wall Street expectations for revenue and profit. The company cautioned that, despite vaccines being distributed nationwide, the pandemic will weigh on travel activity throughout 2021.

Bitcoin slid below the $32,000 support level as sell-offs cut further into the cryptocurrency’s bullish momentum. The token hit a 24-hour low of $31,310.75 before paring some losses.

Gold dipped as much as 0.7%, to $1,858.42 per ounce. The dollar weakened against a basked of Group-of-20 currencies and Treasury yields climbed slightly.

Oil prices fell but remained above the $50 support level. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped as much as 1.1%, to $52.75 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, declined 1%, to $55.51 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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US stocks climb as investors buy Monday’s dip on recovery hopes

trader screen
  • US stocks gained slightly on Tuesday as investors bought Monday’s dip and bet on fresh stimulus and COVID-19 vaccines to fuel a near-term economic rebound.
  • While the Biden administration is set to detail a sweeping fiscal stimulus plan on Thursday, investors continue to weigh whether stocks can remain at their lofty levels.
  • Bitcoin recovered slightly from its Monday nosedive but remains well below the records it hit last week.
  • Oil prices gained as the US dollar weakened against currency peers. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.9%, to $53.26 per barrel.
  • Sign up here our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks edged higher on Tuesday as investors optimistic for a full economic rebound bought the market’s recent dip.

Hopes for widespread vaccination and Biden-backed stimulus continue to lock horns with stocks’ lofty valuations. Fallout from last week’s violent riots at the Capitol continues to weigh on market sentiments, and Democrats are expected to vote to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Shambolic vaccine distribution across the US has also cut into some investors’ recovery outlooks. CNBC reported Tuesday morning that the Trump administration will issue updated vaccination guidance that expands eligibility to everyone 65-years-old and older. The move comes after some states discarded vaccines instead of using them on ineligible populations.

“Vaccine rollouts have been messy, but as more vaccines get regional approval, risk appetite is thriving as we get closer to the other side of COVID,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

Read more: Goldman Sachs says to buy these 29 stocks poised to deliver the strongest sales growth through year-end

The mild uptick comes after stocks stumbled to start the week. Equities fell from record highs on Monday as investors weighed the impact of an impeachment vote and stretched valuations. Facebook and Twitter dragged on major indexes as investors balked at the companies’ moves to ban permanently Trump.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses said Tuesday its gauge of small-business optimism plunged to a seven-month low in December as COVID-19 restrictions intensified. Nine of the index’s 10 components declined through the month and the association’s measure of general-business-condition outlook tumbled into net negative territory.

Read more: An ETF provider whose specialty funds have smashed the market breaks down how to capitalize on the red-hot SPAC craze – and shares 4 to watch in 2021

Bitcoin recovered slightly after plummeting from record highs. The world’s largest cryptocurrency traded at roughly $33,600 on Tuesday, about 1% higher from the prior 24 hours, after sliding as low as $30,305.30 Monday night.

Spot gold climbed as much as 1.1%, to $1,863.81 per ounce, before paring gains. The US dollar weakened slightly against a basket of currency peers and Treasury yields rose.

Oil prices gained amid the US dollar’s decline. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.9%, to $53.26 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international standard, climbed 1.9%, to $56.73 per barrel, at intraday highs.

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US stocks close mixed as stimulus optimism clashes with new virus strain

nyse open floor traders mask.JPG
  • US stocks closed mixed on Tuesday after Congress passed a multitrillion-dollar spending bill that includes $900 billion in new stimulus.
  • The package, which also funds the government through September 30, includes $600 direct payments, $300 in additional federal unemployment benefits, and aid for small businesses. 
  • The fresh fiscal support locked horns with concerns around a new strain of COVID-19 in the UK. The variant’s emergence prompted several European nations to enact travel restrictions on UK visitors.
  • Oil futures fell as investors viewed the new virus strain as a risk to near-term energy demand. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 2.4%, to $46.60 per barrel.
  • Watch major indexes update live here.

US equities closed mixed on Tuesday as investors weighed Monday’s stimulus vote against the emergence of a new coronavirus strain in the UK.

Congress approved the measure Monday night after months of negotiations over additional fiscal support. The bill, which includes $900 billion in new stimulus, funds the government through September 30. The package also includes $600 direct payments, $300 in additional federal unemployment benefits, and funds for the Paycheck Protection Program.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Tuesday:

Read more: BANK OF AMERICA: Buy these 16 medtech stocks with strong fundamentals that are set to soar post-pandemic

The White House has indicated President Donald Trump will sign the bill. Economists have largely backed additional fiscal support, though the slowed pace of economic recovery and rising COVID-19 cases still present sizeable risks.

“The $900 billion fiscal aid package is months late and will likely fall short of what is needed to prevent a rough winter, but it’s better than nothing,” Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, said, adding the measure will “partially buffer the current economic slowdown” while vaccines are distributed.

Enthusiasm toward the new fiscal support was somewhat offset by reports of a new COVID-19 variant in the UK. Several European countries implemented travel restrictions on UK visitors to slow its spread.

Fears were somewhat allayed later in the day after public health experts said Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines are likely effective against the new strain. Still, the new restrictions and virus fears threaten to tamper down on already weakened economic activity.

Read more: Brooke de Boutray has beaten 99% of her peers over the last 5 years and runs a fund that is up 148% in 2020. She shared with us 4 stocks she’s most bullish on heading into 2021.

Economic indicators also flashed some warning signs. US consumer confidence unexpectedly fell to a four-month low this month as surging COVID-19 cases and stricter lockdown measures offset a slight improvement in Americans’ long-term outlooks, Conference Board said Tuesday. The organization’s sentiment gauge fell to 88.6 from 92.9, while economists expected a jump to 97.

The tech and real estate sectors outperformed, while communications-service and energy stocks lagged.

The Nasdaq composite index was lifted by Apple, which extended a late Monday climb following a Reuters report that the iPhone maker aims to produce electric cars by 2024. The news also boosted lidar-sensor producers, as Apple reportedly plans to partner with such firms for its vehicle systems.

Peloton soared after the company inked a deal to buy exercise-equipment company Precor for $420 million. Peloton plans to use Precor’s facilities to boost its manufacturing capacity and cut down on its order backlog.

Read more: A fund manager at JPMorgan’s $1.9 trillion asset management arm breaks down the 6 high-conviction bets he’s making to stand out from the crowd next year – and shares the 2 biggest risks on his radar

Bitcoin rose back above $23,000 after plunging the most in nearly a month on Monday. The cryptocurrency faced pressure after the US Treasury proposed rules that would require exchanges to collect information from users who transfer more than $10,000 to a crypto wallet.

Spot gold erased early gains and fell as much as 1%, to $1,858.97 per ounce, at intraday lows. The US dollar strengthened against all of its Group-of-10 peers and Treasury yields dipped.

Oil prices fell amid fears that the new COVID-19 strain will further cut into demand. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped as much as 2.4%, to $46.60 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, declined 2.7%, to $49.56 per barrel, at intraday lows.

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