Technology Sector Leads Stocks Lower Again on Wall Street

Stocks fell and bond yields rose Monday, extending the market’s pullback last week, as investors shifted holdings in anticipation that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year in its bid to lower inflation.

The selling was broad, though by late afternoon the indexes had come above their lows from earlier in the day. S&P 500 was down 0.7 percent as of 3:29 p.m. Eastern. The benchmark index had been down 2 percent in the early going. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 312 points, or 0.9 percent, to 35,914 and the Nasdaq fell 0.8 percent.

Technology stocks again accounted for a big share of the decline. The sector has been the biggest weight on the market through January and is coming off of its worst week since October 2020. Big technology stocks have an outsized influence on the S&P 500 because of their huge size. Coming into the year, the technology sector represented 29.2 percent of the S&P 500. Nvidia shed 1.1 percent.

Wall Street is closely watching the Federal Reserve for clues as to how soon it might raise interest rates. The central bank has already said it will accelerate the reduction of its bond purchases, which have helped keep interest rates low. The market now puts the chances of the Fed raising short-term rates by at least a quarter-point in March at around 78 percent. A month ago, it was about 36 percent.

Specialist Patrick King works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, on Jan. 10, 2022. (Courtney Crow/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

Higher interest rates make the stocks of expensive tech companies and other pricey growth companies less attractive to investors, which is why the sector has been slipping while bond yields rise.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.77 percent from 1.76 percent late Friday.

Health care was the only sector in the S&P 500 on pace for a gain. Sectors that are considered less risky, including utilities and household goods makers, held up better than the rest of the market.

Elsewhere in the market a mix of deal news and financial updates moved several large stocks.

Athletic apparel maker Lululemon Athletica fell 2.3 percent after warning investors that a surge in virus cases hurt its fourth-quarter financial results. Medical products maker and distributor Cardinal Health fell 6.1 percent after saying that supply chain problems will hurt profits for its medical segment.

Investors have a busy week of economic reports and corporate earnings.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department will release an update on how inflation is impacting prices with its Consumer Price Index for December. The agency will release and give investors details on how inflation is impacting businesses with its Producer Price Index for December on Thursday.

On Friday, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo will report their latest quarterly financial results.

By Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga

The Associated Press


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