Pedestrians walk past an electronic stock board at a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan. (Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg)

Tech Rout Punishes U.S. Stocks as Treasuries Surge: Markets Wrap

Subscribe to Bloomberg | Quint
The Daily Newsletter
News & Stock Alerts

(Bloomberg) -- A selloff in technology shares sent U.S. equity benchmarks lower, with losses accelerating late in the day. Bonds surged on demand for safe havens, pushing the yield on 10-year Treasuries below a key level.

Trade angst weighed on leading tech companies with the Nasdaq 100 Index erasing most of Monday’s gain after a report the Trump administration is considering a crackdown on Chinese investments in technologies the U.S. considers sensitive. Facebook’s woes mounted and Nvidia Corp. spooked investors in chipmakers. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index -- Wall Street’s fear gauge -- spiked.

The equity selling bled into the Treasury market, sending the 10-year yield below 2.8 percent as investors sought havens. One bright spot was General Electric Co., which rose the most in two months on speculation that Warren Buffett will buy a stake in the troubled conglomerate.

Investors have been whipsawed over the past few trading sessions as equities tumbled last week, only to rebound sharply Monday and then resume their selloff Tuesday. Traders are trying to suss out whether the U.S. will reach negotiated truces to ward off an all-out trade war after fears grew that there could be a surge in protectionism in the midst of rising borrowing costs and concerns that inflation could be poised to accelerate.

“The bottom line is the trade issue and uncertainty related to that is not going to fade in one day because all of a sudden we started thinking that we would reach some sort of a settlement with China,” Krishna Memani, chief investment officer at OppenheimerFunds Inc., said by phone. “This is going to be somewhat of a long process for things to settle down.”

Elsewhere, European stocks posted their biggest gain in six weeks. The dollar rose as the pound and euro fell. China’s currency touched the highest level in almost three years. And copper broke out of a three-day trading slump, edging higher.

In Asia, shares were green across the board, with Japan’s Topix Index jumping the most since November 2016. South Korea’s won was the best performer among major currencies as Kim Jong Un was said to be making an unannounced visit to Beijing, his first known trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011.

Here’s a list of of the main events coming up this week:

  • The big four euro-area economies are due to release March CPI readings this week.
  • U.S. personal income and spending data for February are due to be released on Thursday.
  • The Treasury will probably auction about $294 billion of bills and notes this week, its largest slate of supply ever.

Terminal users can read more in our markets live blog.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 slumped 1.7 percent as of the close of trading in New York.
  • The Nasdaq 100 Index fell 3.3 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.4 percent. GE surged more than 4 percent.
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 1.2 percent.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.1 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.3 percent.
  • The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.2399.
  • The British pound decreased 0.5 percent to $1.4153.
  • The South Korean Won increased 1 percent to 1,070.43 per dollar, the strongest in a week on the largest climb in three weeks.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined eight basis points to 2.77 percent.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield dipped two basis points to 1.42 percent.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield decreased two basis points to 0.5 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 1.2 percent to $64.75 a barrel.
  • Gold sank 0.7 percent to $1,343.81 an ounce.
  • Copper gained 0.4 percent to $2.9815 a pound.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg
Follow The Latest On The Global Economy On BloombergQuint
Subscribe to Bloomberg | Quint
The Daily Newsletter
News & Stock Alerts