The dollar and bond yields put Wall Street on the ropes

The S&P 500 down 0.29% to 3,659.56 points, the Dow Jones down 0.14% to 30,391 points while the NASDAQ 100 lost 0.4% to 10,580.83 points.

These moves come after the indices fell for the second straight day on Thursday, with the Dow shedding 90.22 points, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively. The Dow Jones had started the session advancing almost 400 points.

The market continues to show the nerves of investors, who make rash decisions based on the news of the day, criticizes Jamie Cox, managing partner of Harris Financial Group. Investors are increasingly turning to shorter-term strategies, he says, as they see the Federal Reserve creating a volatile market by trying to reduce inflation by raising interest rates.

“Markets are looking for any sign that the inflation data is moving in a way that the Fed can slow its pace of rate hikes, and they are basically ignoring the speakers and the governors and everything the Fed is saying.” , Cox points out in statements to CNBC. “It lends itself to very, very choppy trade because people are trigger-happy and just wait for the signal that the pause is coming”. “It’s a bad way to trade and it brings a lot of volatility.”

Investors are also watching corporate results for clues as to how they are weathering all the headwinds, such as rising rates and slowing demand. On that note, Snap shares plunge more than 26% at the open after the social media company reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the third quarter. It’s Wall Street’s first look at the current state of the struggling online ad market.

The company posted an adjusted profit of 8 cents per share, versus expected losses. Revenue, however, fell short of forecasts, rising 6% to $1.13 billion. It’s the first time revenue growth has been in the single digits since the company debuted on the market in 2017.

Outside of the results, another social media company, Twitter, is still immersed in the soap opera with Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has announced to Twitter investors that he plans to cut almost 75% of the social network’s staff if he finally takes control of it, as reported on Thursday by ‘The Washington Post’. Specifically, the tycoon expects to lay off around 5,500 employees, leaving a workforce of just over 2,000 workers. The actions of the social network advance a little more than a percentage point at the opening.

The dollar rises again amid high Treasury yields. Ten-year US bond yield hits 4.293%, at levels not seen since 2007 with traders pricing in further aggressive rate hikes from the Fed. The two-year bond pays 4.5706%, at a maximum of 15 years.

The 10-year Treasury yield is headed for a 12-week rally that would match the length of the 1984 episode, when then-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker carried out a series of rapid hikes in interest rates.

“The movement of US Treasury bonds is reminiscent of 2007 and market pressure is likely to persist until yields reach levels last seen just before the 2008 crash, when two-year bonds peaked at just over 5% and ten-year bonds they almost reached 5.30%”, believe economists at Rand Merchant Bank. “With yields at current levels, it is not surprising to see the greenback continue to rise – putting pressure on most risk assets – while stock market volatility remains high.”

The dollar notes a rise of 0.45% against the euro to a currency cross of 0.9771 dollars for each single currency. Against the pound the rise is 1.06% to 1.1114 dollars. The yen is also weakening, breaking above the much-watched 150/dollar level, fueling speculation that further intervention is needed to support the Japanese currency.

In commodity markets, oil prices remain broadly flat this Friday and are headed for a second straight weekly loss as fears of an economic slowdown so far offset hopes of rising oil demand from the US. China.

US West Texas was up 0.2% at $84.83, while benchmark European Brent Oil Futures were down 0.2% at $92.57 a barrel.


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