Nasdaq Plunges To Lowest Closing Level In Over A Year, Dow Closes Nearly Flat


Stocks moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Monday, adding to the losses posted last week. The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a particularly steep drop on the day, ending the session at its lowest closing level in over a year.

The Nasdaq plunged 262.59 points or 2 percent to 12,581.22, while the S&P 500 slid 31.20 points or 0.7 percent to 4,173.11.

Meanwhile, the narrower Dow turned negative after climbing as much as 450 points but recovered to end the day up 1.05 points or less than a tenth of a percent at 32,945.24.

The steep drop by the Nasdaq came amid a spike in treasury yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note reaching its highest levels in well over two years.

Treasury yields soared as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points, traders will pay close attention to the accompanying statement for clues about further rate hikes.

The central bank is likely to continue raising rates over the comings months in an effort to combat elevated inflation, although the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict may affect the pace.

The roughly flat close by the Dow came as strong gains by credit card giants American Express (AXP) and Visa (V) helped offset steep losses by tech giants Intel (INTC) and Apple (AAPL).

Traders also kept an eye on developments in the commodities markets, with crude for April delivery plunging $6.32 to $103.01 a barrel amid optimism about peace talks between Russia and Ukraine

Sector News

Energy stocks moved sharply lower along with the price of crude oil. Reflecting the weakness in the sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index dove by 5.2 percent, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index tumbled by 3.6 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index slumped by 2.3 percent.

Significant weakness was also visible among gold stocks, which came under pressure amid a notable decrease by the price of the precious metal.

With gold for April delivery falling $24.20 to $1,960.80 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index plummeted by 4.3 percent.

Semiconductor and computer hardware stocks also saw substantial weakness on the day, contributing to the steep drop by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Steel, biotechnology and housing stocks also showed notable moves to the downside, while banking stocks benefited from the jump by treasury yields.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled by 2.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index surged by 2.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.8 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries moved sharply lower after ending the previous session roughly flat. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, spiked 13.6 basis points to 2.140 percent.

Looking Ahead

A report on producer price inflation is likely to attract some attention on Tuesday, although traders may be reluctant to continue making significant moves ahead of the Fed announcement.

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