The stock market was falling Wednesday, as volatility that has characterized this week continued while investors look to the U.S. jobs report Friday as a possible source of stability.
Technology stocks were under particular pressure as bond yields rose.
Futures for the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
indicated an open 370 points lower after the index seesawed this week—dropping more than 300 points Monday before rebounding a similar amount Tuesday to close at 34,314. The
was headed for a similarly weak open. Futures for the
were off1.5% as
The forces driving markets remained largely unchanged. Investors fretted about issues including inflation, a global energy crunch—wherein surging oil prices further add to global inflation fears—supply-chain pressures, the U.S. debt ceiling, and the future of central bank stimulus.
Analysts noted the market is looking ahead to the U.S. jobs report Friday, which measures nonfarm payrolls, as a possible source of stability amid a week of volatility. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it will closely watch employment indicators as it considers slowing its program of monthly asset purchases, which add liquidity to markets.
“The choppy week continues as markets continue to chase their tails in a light data week,” said Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at broker Oanda.
“Despite the best hopes of the perpetual mega-bulls, the path of least resistance is lower at the moment. I am expecting the markets to continue tying themselves in knots over the next few sessions until we, hopefully, get a decisive nonfarm payrolls print,” Halley added. “It will allow some clarity on the Federal Reserve taper path and positioning appropriately.”
Bond yields pushed higher, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rising to 1.55%. Higher bond yields tend to hit technology stocks particularly hard, as elevated yields typically discount the present value of future earnings. Many tech stocks have high valuations based on big profits many years down the road.
fell 1.1% as investors grappled with the possible impact of new prime minister Fumio Kishida’s economic policies. Frankfurt’s
dropped 2.4% after German factory orders declined 7.7% in August amid supply-chain issues—a sharp move lower after a 4.9% increase in July.
European sentiment was also weighed on amid a global energy crunch that has seen natural-gas prices in the region rise more than 500% since the beginning of the year—spiking 20% on Tuesday alone.
“The importance of these moves on inflation, growth and external accounts are not to be underestimated. To put things in context, accounting for relative energy usage in Europe for example, the natural-gas price rise seen this year is equivalent to oil trading around $200 per barrel now,” said George Saravelos, a strategist at Deutsche Bank. “These price moves are a big deal.”
Elsewhere, the New Zealand central bank was in the spotlight after it raised rates for the first time in seven years with a hike of the main cash rate by 25 basis points to 0.5%. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand warned about persistent cost pressures and how inflation was expected to rise above 4% in the near term.
Here are three stocks on the move Wednesday
(PLTR) rose 8.5% in the premarket trade, after the company said late Tuesday it won a $823 million U.S. Army intelligence contract.
(NVAX) was down 5.1% in the premarket, set to continue a 4.6% fall Tuesday after the company announced a number of new leadership appointments.
Leading British grocer
(TSCO.U.K.) rose 4.5% after raising its full-year outlook following a strong first half of the year.
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