Equities Mixed on the Day, Decline for the Week…..

U.S. equities closed the day mixed and, in the process, posted a loss for the week. Earlier today, the Federal Reserve announced that it would not extend a rule that relaxed the leverage ratio for banks during the pandemic, which expires at the end of the month. The announcement placed significant pressure on the Financials sector, while tech-oriented issues within the Communications Services sector outperformed. Treasury yields were mixed after the 10-year note hit a 14-month high yesterday, while the U.S. dollar was higher, following a dormant economic slate. Gold was slightly higher and crude oil prices rose following yesterday’s sharp decline. News on the equity front was primarily focused on earnings, with Nike missing revenue estimates and FedEx posting a solid quarter in the wake of a robust holiday shopping season, while Visa shares tumbled after a report that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting a probe into the company. Asia finished lower and markets in Europe saw widespread losses amid the uneasiness over the spike in global interest rates and the Fed’s comments.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 234 points (0.7%) to 32,628, the S&P 500 Index decreased 2 points (0.1%) to 3,913, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 99 points (0.8%) at 13,215. In very heavy volume as a result of quadruple-witching, the simultaneous expiration of stock and index futures and options, 3.5 billion shares were traded on the NYSE and 7.4 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil gained $1.38 to $61.44 per barrel. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price was $6.45 higher to $1,742.86 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—gained 0.1% to 91.93. Markets were lower for the week, as the DJIA slipped 0.5%, as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both lost 0.8%.

Treasuries were mixed, with the yields on the 2-year note and 30-year bond 1 basis point lower at 0.15% and 2.44%, respectively, while the yield on the 10-year note rose 2 bps to 1.73%.

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