February 21, 2018

Here's the stock market's big sell-off by the numbers

04 February 2018, 05:54 | Virginia Santiago

Stocks plunge, Dow loses more than 600 points

Tech companies lead stocks sharply lower in early trading

The retreat was a reversal from the bullish sentiment that has defined the markets for most of the past year. "The concern for the stock market is as interest rates go up so does the cost of debt service, the discount rate that you would use in factoring earnings growth for companies".

The Dow fell 665 points, or 2.5 percent, to 25,520.

The Nasdaq fell 108 points, or 1.5 percent, to 7,278.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 recorded its worst week since April previous year when Theresa May called the snap election, dropping by 47 points to 7,443, while Germany's Dax fell 1.7%.

Shares fell 1.8 percent to $123.25 in early trading.

This prompted the 10-year Treasury yield to surge to a 4-year high, raising concerns that higher yields may adversely affect businesses.

"The new development (spooking investors) is the spike in bond yields", says Nick Sargen, senior investment advisor for money management Fort Washington Investment Advisors in Cincinnati.

One bright spot was Amazon, which rose 6.3 percent after the online retailer reported a record profit of near $2 billion due to strong sales and tax law changes.

Sinking tech stocks pressured Asian benchmarks today, with South Korea's Kospi suffering the most among its regional peers.

"The bond market sold off and the expectation is three maybe four rate hikes this year in light of the jobs report", said Nolte.

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The Fed also expected US inflation on a 12-month basis to "move up this year and to stabilize" around the central bank's 2 percent target over the medium term.

"As rates move up, the valuations of stocks get called into question" about whether they're overpriced, O'Hare said. One hallmark of this bull market has been investors' willingness to buy the dips.

Analysts are also anxious that soaring wages could cut into corporate profit margins.

Some market watchers are suggesting that this is signaling the end of the so-called "Trump bump". That's the biggest drop since December 2008 amid the economic downturn following the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers. "It's not something that is very surprising, given the low amount of volatility that we saw in 2017".

Each of the 11 major sectors in the S&P 500 ended down on Friday. We have these corrections. "We don't really expect a bear market unless there is a turn in the economy, which we are not seeing right now".

Net income in the fourth quarter rose to US$3.11bn, equivalent to US$1.64 a share, from US$415mln (22 cents) a year earlier.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 58 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,763 as of 3:07 p.m. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Value TSM Index closed at 10,123.09 for a loss of -201.26 points or -1.95%.

Some were ascribing the market decline to nervousness over special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether there was collusion between Mr Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation, and reports about a sensitive memo.

Stocks in Europe and on Wall Street plunged at least 1 per cent on the news, as the strong jobs and wage growth data boosted the chances of four Fed rate hikes this year, instead of the three hikes analysts had expected thus far. And he is predicting a good year for 2018.

Some stocks bucked Friday's decline.

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