US stocks dip as investors weigh spiking yields against stimulus promises

TraderJohannes Eisele/AFP via Getty ImagesTraders work during the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 18, 2020 at Wall Street in New York City


US stocks were lower on Wednesday, extending their decline from Tuesday’s volatile tech sell-off with the Nasdaq 100 leading the decline.

The decline in stocks has been sparked by a spike in interest rates and concerns about rising inflation, but the promise of a $US1.9 ($2) trillion fiscal stimulus bill continues to weigh on investors.

The 10-year Treasury yield hit 1.4% on Wednesday, but Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell eased inflation concerns in his testimony to Congress on Tuesday. Powell is set to return to the hill today.

Here’s where US indexes stood after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Wednesday:

The volatile trading in bitcoin continued on Wednesday, as it hovered around the $US50,000 ($63,177) level. Square and MicroStrategy both said they purchased more bitcoin, and Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood said she is still “very positive” on the cryptocurrency.

EV company Fisker Inc. soared 20% after it inked a memorandum of understanding with iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to develop a new vehicle scheduled for a release in 2023. 

A steep decline for Tesla this week served as an opportunity for Ark Invest to buy the dip for its investment funds, with the investment management company buying more than 200,000 shares. 

The FDA said Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, paving the way for the vaccine to be authorized for emergency use later this week. The healthcare company said it could deliver 100 million of its single-dose vaccines by the end of June.

Oil prices were higher. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 1.3%, to $US62.44 ($79) per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose by 1.33%, to $US66.24 ($84) per barrel.

Gold fell 0.9%, to $US1,789.90 ($2,262) per ounce.

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