Bond Yields Jump After Remark From Fed Governor

Tech stocks drag Wall St. indexes down
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 5, 2022 3:47 PM CDT
Bond Yields Jump After Remark From Fed Governor
In this photo provided by the New York Stock Exchange, traders gather at a post on the floor, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. .   (Courtney Crow/New York Stock Exchange via AP)

(Newser) – Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Tuesday and bond yields jumped as remarks by a Federal Reserve governor fueled expectations on Wall Street that the central bank is prepared to more aggressively raise interest rates and take other steps in a bid to tame surging inflation. The S&P 500 fell 57.52 points, or 1.3%, to 4,525.12 for its first loss in three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 280.70 points, or 0.8%, to 34,641.18. The Nasdaq fell 328.39 points, or 2.3%, to 14,204.17. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 49.40 points, or 2.4%, to 2,046.04.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in a speech that it’s "of paramount importance" to reduce inflation and the central bank is set to keep raising short-term interest rates following its March hike, which was its first increase since 2018. Traders are pricing in a nearly 78% probability the Fed will raise its key overnight rate by half a percentage point at its next meeting in May. That’s double the usual amount and something the Fed hasn’t done since 2000, the AP reports. That helped the yield on the two-year Treasury jump to 2.51% from 2.46%, its highest level since March 2019.

Higher interest rates tend to hurt stocks that are seen as the priciest, which puts the focus on big technology and other high-growth stocks. Weakness from tech stocks weighed down the broader market Tuesday. Chipmaker Qualcomm fell 5.4%. Twitter, however, rose another 2.2% after disclosing an arrangement with Tesla chief Elon Musk that will give him a board seat but also limit how much of the company he can buy while he’s a director. Twitter's stock jumped 27.6% Monday after the company disclosed that the mercurial billionaire and Twitter critic had become its largest shareholder. (Read more stock market stories.)

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