US stocks fall, oil prices retreat after peak
Stocks fell on Tuesday afternoon, setting the S&P 500 on pace for its first decline after posting a series of record-breaking closings.
Oil prices retreated after surging overnight and bond prices rose, sending the 10-year Treasury yield to its lowest level since February.
The S&P 500 Index was down 0.4% at 2:29 p.m. EST. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 260 points, or 0.8%, to 34,526 and the Nasdaq Composite lost less than 0.1%.
The Russell 2000 Small Stock Index posted some of the biggest losses, sliding 1.7%.
“We’ve had a really strong movement this week,” said Mark Hackett, chief investment researcher at Nationwide. “It’s almost natural to have a pullback when you have that kind of movement.”
On Friday, the S&P 500 had closed at an all-time high for seven consecutive days. The index gained 2.6% during this period and rose almost 16% for the year.
Tuesday’s large slide is led by banks and industrial companies. Real estate companies and several large tech stocks are among the rare winners.
Oil prices retreated after surging overnight when talks between OPEC cartel members and allied oil-producing countries broke amid a standoff with the UAE over production levels . The benchmark US crude oil price fell 2.4% to $ 73.31; it previously stood at $ 76.98, the highest level since November 2014.
Falling oil prices weighed on energy companies. Exxon Mobil fell 2.8% and Chevron 2.1%.
Investors got another little glimpse of the economy, with a report showing that growth in the service sector, where most Americans work, slowed in June after a record expansion in May.
Longer-term Treasury yields fell as the report suggested this year’s surge in inflation may have already peaked and nervousness increased in the market.
The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.38% from 1.44% on Friday and returned to its February level. It had recovered sharply earlier this year, fearing inflation could reach dangerous levels as the economy came back to life.
The report says the prices paid by US service companies rose at a slower pace last month. Exam gloves and masks have become cheaper, for example, and the U.S. service industry price index slowed to 79.5 in June after peaking at 80.6 in May, according to the ‘Institute for Supply Management. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
More generally, growth in the service sector slowed last month, and more than economists expected. This fits with Wall Street’s growing belief that growth in many areas of the economy is peaking or has already been. It would also lend more credence to the Federal Reserve’s insistence that inflation only appears to be a temporary problem.
Falling yields have weighed on banks, which rely on higher yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Bank of America fell 2.6% and Citigroup fell 3.1%.
The market is currently in a summer lull with investors having little action until next week when the corporate earnings season resumes. US markets have a shortened holiday week this week, as the markets were closed on Monday.
“When you lack information, emotion tends to guide decision making and you definitely see it in the stock market,” Hackett said.
Shares of ride-sharing company Didi Global fell 20.6%. This follows a 5% drop on Friday after China announced it would investigate the cybersecurity practices of three ride tech companies, including Didi. The government also announced cybersecurity reviews of Full Truck Alliance, the operator of two truck logistics platforms, and Kanzhun Ltd., operator of an online recruiting firm. Full Truck fell 14.9% and Kanzhun fell 15.1%.
Amazon jumped 4.7% after the Pentagon announced that it was canceling a cloud computing contract with Microsoft that could have ended up being worth $ 10 billion and that it would pursue a deal with Microsoft and Amazon instead. Microsoft shares fell 0.4%.