U.S. stocks fall ahead of expected Fed rate hikes

  • Tech, bank stocks drag indexes down
  • Treasury yields rise
  • Gold, crypto prices also slip
  • Oil jumps more than 1%

Aug 19 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell and the dollar rose on Friday even as Treasury yields gained, with traders weighing additional interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve to combat inflation.

With higher rates looming, high-growth and technology stocks such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) fell more than 2%. Banks declined and were on track to end the week lower, potentially snapping their six-week winning streak. And an earnings-miss by heavy equipment maker Deere & Co. (DE.N) added to the risk-off mood. read more

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 0.84%, to 33,713.26, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 1.28%, to 4,228.83 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 2%, to 12,704.30.

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European shares fell on Friday and posted a weekly loss as the highest-ever jump in German producer prices in July added to gloom over the economic outlook. The pan-European STOXX 600 (.STOXX) ended 0.8% lower. read more

The MSCI world equity index (.MIWD00000PUS), which tracks shares in 47 countries, was down 1.28%.

“When market participants start to return from their holidays and look back … they will find central banks still far from having achieved their goals of reining in inflation,” ING rates strategists said in a note to clients.

“That means a continued tussle between central bank tightening expectations and recession fears.”

The Federal Reserve needs to keep raising borrowing costs to bring high inflation under control, a string of U.S. central bank officials said on Thursday, even as they debated how fast and how high to lift them. read more

The U.S. dollar benefited from the Fed’s hawkish comments and investor caution, hitting a one-month high. The dollar index was up around 0.6% at $108.14 and the euro was down 0.50% at $1.0036.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield climbed to near a one-month high at 2.9776% .

Next week, investors will be paying close attention to minutes from the European Central Bank’s July meeting, as well as comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell when he addresses the annual global central banking conference in Jackson Hole on Aug. 26. read more

“Incoming data, on net, suggests the U.S. economy retains fairly healthy momentum,” Michael Gapen, a Bank of America economist, wrote in a client note. He cited improving motor vehicle assembly and retail sales data, but noted declining housing numbers.

“Incoming data was not uniformly strong … and we note that stronger momentum will ultimately be met with additional policy rate firming,” Gapen added.


Oil prices added a third day of gains. U.S. crude rose 1.45% to $91.81 per barrel, while Brent was at $97.59, up about 1% on the day.

Cryptocurrencies fell sharply, with sudden selling dragging bitcoin to a three-week low. It was last at $21,479, down more than 8% on the day. read more

Gold was headed for its first weekly drop in a month after hitting a three-week low. Spot gold fell for a fifth straight session, down about0.5% at $1,749 per ounce, in what could be its longest losing streak since November 2021.

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Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne in Boston and Elizabeth Howcroft in London; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Chris Reese and Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.