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S&P 500 off lows but remains pressured as Fed jitters drive up Treasury yields

Published 2023/02/06, 21:34
© Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com -- The S&P 500 moved off lows Monday, but remained pressured by a resurgence in bond yields as investors continue to price in the prospect of a more aggressive Federal Reserve after last week’s red-hot jobs report.

The S&P 500 fell 0.36%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1%, or 29 points, the Nasdaq was down 0.61%.

The 10-year yield rose above 3.6%, hitting a more than one-month high, amid renewed investor fears about a more aggressive Federal Reserve following a red-hot January jobs report seen last week.

With the labor market expected to remain tight for longer than expected, Janney Montgomery Scott says the Fed will be forced to stay more aggressive, potentially pushing Treasury yields even higher.

“This will force the Fed to stay more aggressive in its fight against inflation (in our opinion)- where consensus had recently shifted to a pause or pivot this year,” Janney Montgomery Scott said in a note ahead of a speech by chairman Jerome Powell due Tuesday.

Tech stocks floundered against the backdrop of rising yields, with Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple leading to the downside.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 1% as demand concerns persist following reports that retailers in China cut the price of the tech giant’s iPhone 14 models to boost sales. The reports come just a week after Apple reported quarterly results showing the first year-over-year sales decline since 2019.

Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL), meanwhile continued the trend of tech layoffs after announcing plans to cut staff by 5% as slowing PC sales deepen worries about demand outlook. Its shares fell nearly 3%.

Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) also added to the downside momentum, falling more than 4%, as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reportedly expects the UK's competition watchdog to oppose its $69 billion deal to take over the video game company.

Rival videogame maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc (NASDAQ:TTWO) fell more than 5% as investors remained cautious on the stock ahead of its quarterly results – due after the markets close – expected to show the impact of a weaker consumer and strong competition.

Consumer discretionary was the relative outperformer, trading roughly unchanged, underpinned by a 2% climb in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as some on Wall Street believe the EV maker’s price cuts are helping it gain market share in China.

“[W]e are now seeing a noticeable turnaround for Chinese EV buyers favoring Tesla vs. domestic players (BYD (OTC:BYDDY), Nio (NYSE:NIO), Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV)),” Wedbush said in a note after lifting its price target on the stock to $225 from $200.

In other news, Newmont Goldcorp Corp (NYSE:NEM) slumped 6% on reports the miner reportedly tabled a $16.9 billion bid to acquire rival Newcrest Mining (OTC:NCMGF) in an all-stock deal.

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