Bears Remain Firmly in Control…..

U.S. equities finished lower, adding to a recent selloff, as the markets continued to contend with a host of headwinds. Persistent inflation has prompted the Fed to become more aggressive in its monetary policy tightening campaign, fostering uncertainty of if it can engineer a soft landing. The recent rise in interest rates and strength in the U.S. dollar continued to sap sentiment, signaling tightening financial conditions, while the war in Ukraine and COVID-induced lock-downs in China have exacerbated the backdrop. Treasuries were higher, pushing yields lower, and the U.S. dollar was nearly flat, while gold traded to the downside and crude oil prices tumbled. Earnings season rolled on, with Tyson Foods rising after topping expectations and raising its guidance, while Palantir fell after missing profit projections and issuing softer-than-expected guidance. The lone item on the economic docket showed wholesale inventories continued to rise. Asia finished mostly lower amid the global uneasiness, which also weighed on European markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 654 points (2.0%) to 32,246, the S&P 500 Index declined 132 points (3.2%) to 3,991, and the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 521 points (4.3%) to 11,623. In heavy volume, 5.9 billion shares of NYSE-listed stocks were traded, and 5.8 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil plunged $6.68 to $103.09 per barrel. Elsewhere, the gold spot price traded $8.70 lower to $1,884.40 per ounce, and the Dollar Index was unchanged at 103.69.

Treasuries were higher after losing ground as of late that has lifted yields as the markets continue to brace for tighter Fed monetary policy following last week’s 50 basis point (bp) rate hike.

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