Stocks Lower, Failing to Build on Yesterday’s Sharp Rally…..

U.S. stocks closed lower following yesterday’s big rally, as the broad-based indices took a moment to weigh the recent spike in global bond yields against an increased supply of COVID-19 vaccines. The Information Technology sector remained hamstrung by the implications of the recent rise in interest rates, while the cyclically-natured Materials sector was the day’s outperformer. Earnings were back in focus, as Target Corporation and Zoom Video Communications both topped forecasts amid the changed landscape due to the pandemic. Treasuries were mixed, and the U.S. dollar pulled back from the high end of a recent range. The economic calendar was dormant today but is set to heat back up tomorrow, headlined by key February services sector reports and the Fed’s Beige Book. Gold rose and crude oil prices were lower. Asia finished mixed and Europe closed mostly higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 144 points (0.5%) to 31,392, the S&P 500 Index decreased 32 points (0.8%) to 3,870, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 230 points (1.7%) at 13,359. In heavy volume, 1.2 billion shares were traded on the NYSE and 4.9 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil fell $0.89 to $59.75 per barrel. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price added $8.62 to $1,733.66 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—lost 0.3% to 90.76.

Treasuries were mixed, with the rate on the 2-year note little changed at 0.12%, while the yield on the 10-year note fell 2 basis points (bps) to 1.40%, and the 30-year bond rate rose 1 basis point to 2.20%.

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