Wed, December 01, 2021


Markets wrap: Stocks, bonds fall as inflation debate intensifies

Stocks retreated from record highs and bond yields rose as investors debated whether the Federal Reserve risks letting inflation get out of hand.

Yields climbed for a third day after the Treasury Department sold $24 billion in 30-year bonds at levels higher than just before its bidding deadline. The benchmark S&P 500 fell for the first time in three trading sessions with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reporting mixed results as second-quarter earnings season gets under way. Technology shares had outperformed much of the day, briefly sending the Nasdaq 100 to another all-time high, before finishing marginally lower.

"Tech hung in because long rates fell pre-auction, and now that the whole yield curve is seeing a rise in rates, tech is being sold and it was the only thing keeping the indices up," said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer for Bleakley Advisory Group. "And with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 up almost every day for three weeks, we are overbought, so it wasn't going to take much."

A report earlier showed prices paid by U.S. consumers surged in June by the most since 2008, topping all forecasts and showing higher costs associated with the economy's reopening continue to fuel inflationary pressures. The consumer price index jumped 0.9% in June and 5.4% from the same month last year.

Expectations for a solid earnings season have supported the stock rally, as investors ponder how central banks will unwind stimulus driving the recovery from the pandemic. Still, inflationary pressures remain a concern amid speculation around when the Fed will start cutting back bond purchases.

"This is not going to be music to the Fed's ears," Saira Malik, chief investment officer of global equities at Nuveen, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "The Fed is going to be acknowledging that inflation is going to be running hotter going forward. We're also dealing with peak earnings growth in the second quarter and also the delta variant. That makes for a tough climb in the second half of this year."

Oil rose to the highest price in more than 2 1/2 years as prospects of an imminent flood of crude exports from Iran and other major producers waned while the International Energy Agency warned of a deepening supply crunch.

Here are some events to watch this week:

- The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's latest interest rate policy Wednesday

- Bank of Korea monetary decision Thursday

- China second-quarter GDP, key economic indicators Thursday

- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appears before the Senate Banking Committee to deliver the semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress Thursday

- Bank of Japan interest rate decision Friday

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

- - -

- The S&P 500 fell 0.3% as of 4 p.m. New York time

- The Nasdaq 100 was little changed

- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%

- The MSCI World index fell 0.2%

- - -

- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.5%

- The euro fell 0.7% to $1.1776

- The British pound fell 0.5% to $1.3813

- The Japanese yen fell 0.2% to 110.61 per dollar

- - -

- The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced five basis points to 1.41%

- Germany's 10-year yield was little changed at -0.29%

- Britain's 10-year yield declined two basis points to 0.63%

- - -

- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.6% to $75.30 a barrel

- Gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,808.60 an ounce

Published : July 14, 2021

By : Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Katie Greifeld