Wall Street down; keep an eye on Ukraine, rates and COVID-19

Shares on the New York Stock Exchange started the week trending lower as traders continue to watch interest rates, inflation and the war in Ukraine.

At mid-day trading on Monday, the S&P 500 index was down 0.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Tech Composite was down 0.5%.

Stocks have struggled this year as America’s highest inflation in generations is forcing the Federal Reserve to reverse its policy of ultra-low interest rates that helped speed up the economy in recent years.

That has the 10-year Treasury yield near its highest level since 2018, at 2.85% midday Monday. Higher yields are putting downward pressure on all types of investments, from gold to cryptocurrencies.

The COVID-19 pandemic is also continuing, perhaps most obviously in China. Authorities ordered lockdowns in Shanghai and elsewhere to curb coronavirus outbreaks.

Shares in Shanghai fell 0.5% and Asian markets were relatively weak. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.1% and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1%.

Meanwhile, markets in much of Europe were closed due to a holiday.

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