Each of the major stock market indexes has fallen to their worst levels of the session over the last hour, as the Nasdaq has forfeited most all of its gains from yesterday.
The Dow is down 150 points (0.9%), the S&P 500 is down 16 points (0.8%) and the Nasdaq is down 32 points (1.0%).
No major economic data was released this morning, but two Fed Presidents, William Dudley of the New York Fed and Richard Plosser of the Philadelphia Fed, made speeches today.
In his speech, Dudley said he would favour continuing reducing the Fed’s monthly asset purchases by $US10 billion and said with respect to interest rates that his, “current thinking is that the pace of tightening will probably be relatively slow.”
Plosser was more hawkish, saying that if the Fed continues its pace of reductions and the economy continues improving, the Fed could find itself, “still trying to increase accommodation in an environment in which history suggests that policy should perhaps be moving in the opposite direction.” Plosser also said that if inflation moves closer to the Fed’s 2% target, it could warrant raising rates sooner rather than later.
Retail stocks are also broadly lower after a number of disappointing earnings reports.
Industrial bellwether Caterpillar this morning disclosed that on a three month rolling basis, its machine sales in Asia are down 25% as of the end of April.
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