Stock Markets

Wall St slips on mixed earnings, higher Treasury yields


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., April 10, 2023. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
 
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By Sruthi Shankar and Ankika Biswas

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Wednesday as Treasury yields rose on growing expectations that the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates higher for longer, while mixed earnings from regional banks and weakness in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) further dented sentiment.

Tesla Inc dropped 2.4% after the electric-vehicle maker reduced prices for a sixth time this year in the United States, ahead of its first-quarter results.

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) slid 4.7% after the video-streaming pioneer issued a downbeat forecast.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) declined 1.8% as the Wall Street bank reported a fall in quarterly earnings, a day after rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) posted a 19% drop in profit on hit to dealmaking and losses from the sale of some assets in its consumer business.

While the start of the earnings season has been largely supportive for equities, investors will closely watch updates from market heavyweights as well as consumer companies for signs of inflation and economic slowdown hurting margins.

Mixed economic data recently has fueled bets that the U.S. central bank will hike interest rates by 25 basis points in May, with traders seeing an 83% chance for such a move, as per CME Group’s (NASDAQ:CME) Fedwatch tool.

The two-year Treasury yield, most reflective of short-term rate expectations, hit a one-month high and the 10-year yield hit a four-week high as traders scaled back expectations of rate cuts later this year. [US/]

“I don’t know if they’re (Fed policymakers) going to raise a whole lot more, but all the hawkish tone is saying don’t expect rate cuts this year, another thing driving yields a little bit higher because a lot of them had been anticipating a cut,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

“Also, UK inflation came in really hot and there are fears that it could spread here.”

Communication services, materials and technology were among the top S&P 500 sector decliners.

The Fed’s “Beige Book”, a snapshot of the health of the U.S. economy, will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), and investors will scrutinize it for the impact of the recent banking crisis on economic activity.

At 9:44 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 140.38 points, or 0.41%, at 33,836.25, the S&P 500 was down 19.18 points, or 0.46%, at 4,135.69, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 77.37 points, or 0.64%, at 12,076.04.

Chipmakers including Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Inc were down around 1% each after European giant ASML Holding (NASDAQ:ASML) NV noted some signs of caution among customers.

The Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index dropped 1.3%.

Earnings from regional banks were mixed, with Citizens Financial (NYSE:CFG) Group Inc falling 3.4% after its first-quarter results missed estimates.

Western Alliance (NYSE:WAL) Bancorp rallied 17.3% after the regional bank posted stronger-than-expected earnings and said its deposits had stabilized after the March banking crisis.

Shares of First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC), Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION) and Pacwest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW) rose between 3% and 8.1%.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 3.70-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.40-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 10 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 17 new highs and 57 new lows.

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