Wall Street struggles for direction amid Dow's volatile week
U.S. stocks indexes were little changed in volatile trading on Friday, after jumping more than 1 per cent at the open and then briefly turning negative, as the market struggled for direction.
The see-saw session is a reflection of the trading during this week’s sell-off that has wiped off more than 6 per cent of the three major indexes and sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 into correction territory on Thursday.
The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries, which tends to be the driver of global borrowing costs, was hovering at 2.84 per cent, set to end the week little changed since hitting a near a four-year high of 2.885 per cent Monday.
The market’s main gauge of volatility, the CBOE Volatility Index, was at 30.65 points on Friday, down 3 from Thursday, but more than double its 50-day moving average of 13.
“I thought we were close to a bottom a couple of days ago, but it looks we’re in the standard path, which is a selloff, a rebound and then a retest of the low,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham.
“I’d like to see buying come in late in the day instead of having a selloff like we had yesterday.”
At 11:30 a.m. EDT the Dow was down 33.49 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 23,826.97, the S&P was up 2.04 points, or 0.079039 per cent, at 2,583.04 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.65 points, or 0.02 per cent, at 6,778.81.
At the heart of this week’s pullback in the market has been a rise in U.S. bond yields due to growing expectations that a robustly performing economy will lead to higher inflation and a steady rise in official interest rates over this year.
Analysts and traders say the sell-off had begun a major correction to nine years of near uninterrupted gains for Wall Street.
Investors also point to additional pressure from the violent unwinding of trades linked to bets on volatility staying low.
“Volatility is here is to continue for a few days perhaps a few weeks longer,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
With Wall Street’s quarterly earnings season more than half-way through, about three-fourths of the S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have beaten profit expectations, above the 72 percent beat-rate in the past four quarters.
Chipmaker Nvidia was up about 3.5 per cent in premarket trading after its upbeat results and forecast.
Expedia shares sank 16.2 percent after the online travel services company said costs would outpace revenue growth this year.
FedEx and UPS dropped about 2 per cent after the Wall Street Journal reported Amazon.com Inc will be launching its own delivery service.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,770 to 1,076. On the Nasdaq, 1,579 issues fell and 1,259 advanced.
— Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Editing by Savio D’Souza