US Oil Price Drops Almost 6%

Traders exercise caution ahead of Fed meeting
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 14, 2022 3:41 PM CDT
Markets Slide Lower Ahead of Fed Meeting
Trader James Conti works on the floor, Monday, March 14, 2022, in this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange.   (Allie Joseph/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

Stocks swayed lower on Wall Street Monday, crude oil prices fell, and bond yields rose sharply as waves of market-moving forces crashed into each other. Markets remained jumbled as investors try to assess the various impacts on the economy from the war in Ukraine, upcoming rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and new virus lockdowns in China, the AP reports. The S&P 500 gave up an early gain fell 31.20 points, or 0.7%, to 4,173.11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.05 points, or less than 0.1%, to 32,945.24. The Nasdaq fell 262.59 points, or 2%, to 12,581.22. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 37.95 points, or 1.9%, to 1,941.72.

The 10-year Treasury yield, a benchmark for mortgage rates, touched its highest level since the summer of 2019. Elsewhere around the world, markets pulled in opposing directions. European markets climbed, while stocks fell sharply in Hong Kong after the neighboring city of Shenzhen was ordered into a shutdown to combat China’s worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years. Oil prices tumbled to take some pressure off the high inflation sweeping the world, with a barrel of US crude falling toward $100 after touching $130 last week. A barrel of US oil slid 5.8% to settle at $103.01. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 5.1% to settle at $106.90.

Investors were already uneasy before the war began because central banks around the world are preparing to shut off the stimulus they pumped into the global economy after the pandemic struck. The Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee is meeting this week. "You're seeing pretty muted trading today and people aren’t going to get too short or long ahead of the Fed," said Jay Hatfield, CEO of Infrastructure Capital Advisors. "We expect the market to stay pretty range-bound until the Fed meeting on Wednesday." The wide expectation is that it will raise its key short-term interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday. It would be the first increase since 2018, and it would pull the federal funds rate off its record low of nearly zero.

(Read more stock market stories.)

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