S&P 500, Nasdaq fall again as Treasury yields climb

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Major stock indices mostly fell on Friday (April 8), concluding a lacklustre week for equities as markets adjust to a sharp pivot in monetary policy in response to high inflation.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq retreated as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note climbed above 2.7 per cent, a signal markets are preparing for more Federal Reserve monetary tightening.

All three major indices notched losses for the week.

"Financial markets reacted sharply this week to hawkish (Fed) communications, with signals that a 50 basis point hike and an initiation of balance sheet runoff are both in train for May," Barclays bank said in a note.

"Hawkish signals have prepared financial markets for a rapid withdrawal of accommodation, but also intensify risks of excessive tightening."

The broad-based S&P 500 finished at 4,488,28, down 0.3 per cent for the day and 0.2 per cent for the week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.4 per cent to 34,721.12, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 1.3 per cent to 13,711.00.

Besides worries over higher interest rates, stocks have been buffeted by unease over sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine and lockdowns in China in response to the latest Covid-19 wave.

Next week will see fresh data on consumer prices and the start of first-quarter earnings season, with reports from JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and other large banks.

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