Stocks Finish Lower in Bumpy Trading Session…..

U.S. equities finished mixed in choppy trading amid a host of data, events and cautious Fedspeak driving sentiment. Geopolitical tensions continue to run high, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi touched down in Taiwan despite warnings from the Chinese government that doing so would undermine relations with the U.S. Meanwhile, earnings continued in earnest, as Dow member Caterpillar fell despite beating earnings expectations in part due to supply chain issues and unfavorable currency movements. Shares of Uber jumped despite posting a large loss, as its revenues rose a whopping 105% from the year prior. In light economic news, job openings declined for the third-straight month, and the hiring rate dipped slightly. Treasuries finished noticeably lower as yields rose, and the U.S. dollar gained solid ground, while crude oil prices were also higher, but gold declined. Europe finished predominantly to the downside ahead of Thursday’s Bank of England meeting, while markets in Asia were also mostly lower amid the U.S.-China frictions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 402 points (1.2%) to 32,396, the S&P 500 Index fell 27 points (0.7%) to 4,091, and the Nasdaq Composite decreased 20 points (0.2%) to 12,349. In moderate volume, 4.7 billion shares of NYSE-listed stocks were traded, and 4.6 billion shares changed hands on the Nasdaq. WTI crude oil increased $0.53 to $94.42 per barrel. Elsewhere, the gold spot price decreased $8.90 to $1,778.80 per ounce, while the Dollar Index increased 0.8% to 106.20.

Job openings continue recent downtrend…..

The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), a measure of unmet demand for labor, showed a decrease to 10.7 million jobs available to be filled in June, from May’s upwardly-revised level of 11.3 million. The estimate called for an 11.0 million figure. The report showed the hiring rate dipped slightly to 4.2% from May’s 4.3% level, and separations held at May’s 3.9% rate. The quit rate also remained at May’s 2.8% pace.

Treasuries were lower as yields rose, and the inversion of the 2-year and 10-year notes remained intact. The markets continued to grapple with last week’s Fed monetary policy decision, where it raised its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points (bps) for the second-straight meeting, and the markets appeared to take comments from Chairman Jerome Powell as less hawkish. The yield on the 2-year Treasury note was up 15 bps to 3.06%, the yield on the 10-year note increased 14 bps to 2.76%, and the 30-year bond was 10 bps higher at 3.03%.

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