Nasdaq falls another 1% amid rate fears, turns negative for 2021

FAN Editor

U.S. stocks fell for a third straight session Thursday as investors continued to dump high-flying tech shares amid fears about rising interest rates.

The S&P 500 dipped 0.7%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 90 points. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.6% as Apple slid 1% and Tesla shed 4.3%. With Thursday’s losses, the tech-heavy benchmark turned negative on the year.

The weakness came even after a better-than-expected reading on weekly jobless claims. First-time filings for unemployment insurance in the week ended Feb. 27 totaled 745,000, a touch below the Dow Jones estimate of 750,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

“We’re back to good news (for the economy) is bad news (for the market) and as interest rates move higher on expectations of better economic growth it has been hurting the stock market,” Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, said in a note.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is set to join The Wall Street Journal Jobs Summit to talk about the economy later Thursday.

Treasury yields, which have been keeping investors on edge in recent weeks, traded flat on Thursday. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield held steady at 1.46%. Last week, the rate soared to a high of 1.6% in a sudden move that sparked a big sell-off in stocks.

Stocks posted heavy losses Wednesday led by tech as rising bond yields raised concerns about higher inflation and market valuations. The Nasdaq Composite has fallen 3.7% this week, on track to post its third straight negative week — the longest weekly losing streak since September.

Additional stimulus measures could inject some optimism into the market. The Senate is currently debating the $1.9 trillion relief package passed by the House on Saturday. President Joe Biden has backed a plan to cut the income caps for Americans to receive stimulus checks.

“Our macro team sees the economy as spring-loaded given the vaccinations and additional stimulus,” Keith Lerner, Truist chief market strategist, wrote in a note to clients. “The ability and desire of the consumer to spend on services and experiences should lead to the best economic growth we have seen in over 35 years.”

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