US equity markets claw back lost ground - RTHK
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US equity markets claw back lost ground

2024-02-15 HKT 05:32
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  • Wall Street closed higher, helped by calmer bond markets. File photo: Shutterstock
    Wall Street closed higher, helped by calmer bond markets. File photo: Shutterstock
US stocks rose on Wednesday to recover much of their sharp losses from a day before, triggered by worries that high interest rates may stick around for months longer than hoped.

The S&P 500 climbed 1 percent to 5,000 and clawed back more than two-thirds of its loss from Tuesday. A hotter-than-expected report on inflation forced investors to delay forecasts for when the Federal Reserve may begin cutting interest rates, potentially into the summer. Expectations for such cuts are a big reason stocks rallied to records recently.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4 percent to 38,424 a day after after dropping 524 points for its worst loss in nearly 11 months. The Nasdaq composite jumped 1.3 percent to 15,859.

Helping to keep things steadier on Wall Street was a calmer bond market. Treasury yields eased after shooting upward a day earlier on expectations the Fed would keep rates high for longer. The central bank has already jacked its main interest rate to the highest level since 2001 in hopes of slowing the overall economy just enough to grind high inflation down to its target.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 4.25 percent from 4.32 percent late on Tuesday.

Critics have been arguing that stock prices may have run too far, too fast in their rally since October. A pullback could be healthy if it take some of the “froth” out of the market, according to JJ Kinahan, CEO of IG North America.

Kinahan said he found it interesting that big recent winners like Nvidia and other chipmakers finished Tuesday well off their lows for the day. That makes him think the day’s drop “was more about taking some profits than it was panic selling” by investors.

Nvidia, which has been riding a mania around artificial-intelligence technology, rose 2.5 percent on Wednesday and was the single strongest force pushing up the S&P 500 index.

Most companies in the S&P 500 have been topping analysts’ forecasts for the last three months of 2023. Hopes for stronger growth in 2024 from a solid economy have been another reason the S&P 500 has set 10 records already this year. (AP)

US equity markets claw back lost ground