Dow Lower After Eight-Day Rally; Bond Yields Rise

Published on: 15 May, 2018

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 24,809.55 on Tuesday morning, before falling 238.78 points midday, ending its eight-day rally. Stocks fell after Home Depot (NYSE: HD) reported weaker-than-expected earnings and bond yields jumped after the monthly retail sales report.

Home Depot reported revenue of $24.9 billion, increasing 4.4 percent year over year, but falling short of Thomson Reuters forecast of $25.15 billion. The company reported an EPS of $2.08, surpassing Thomson Reuters estimates of $2.05. Same-store sales grew by 4.2 percent compared to Thomson Reuters forecast of 5.4 percent.

Technology stocks also saw a pullback, adding onto the weaker market. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) shares fell by 1.86 percent, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) fell by 1.67 percent and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) fell by 1.1 percent.

The Nasdaq Composite fell by 1.04 percent, while the S&P 500 fell by 0.86 percent.

Stocks also fell after the Commerce Department reported April retail sales increased 0.3 percent, down from a 0.8 percent gain in March, which also revised higher. The retail sales results spiked the 10-year Treasury note to a new intraday high since 2011.

“Now that these distortions are out the way we expect upcoming data to show households continuing to spend strongly,” said James Knightley, an economist at ING. ”Employment is rising, wages are growing and tax cuts means there is more cash in people’s pockets. In turn, this leads us to look for a further three Fed rate rises in 2018.”

The 10-year Treasury note jumped by 3.07 percent, according to data by Tradeweb. The 10-year yield serves as a measurement of the economy’s health, mortgage rates and other financial measurements.

The yield curve steepens because investors tend to seek a higher yield for lending in the future, while a flat curve sometimes represents a signal that investors are concerned about the long-term outlook. Bond prices fall as yield prices increase.

The U.S. Dollar Index hit a high of $94.44 this year, lifted by the yield gains.

Investors have increased their bets that the Federal Reserve will accelerate pace of interest hikes. According to data compiled by CME Group, chances that the Feds raise rates are up to 52 percent from Monday’s odds of 50 percent.

“As things stand, consumption growth is on track for a big rebound in the second quarter, which should push overall GDP growth up to more than 3% annualized. That will keep the Fed on track to raise rates again at its June meeting,” said Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics.

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Danny Abramov

Email: danny@financialinsiders.com

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