September 26, 2017

Wall Street Ends Lower on Central Bank Fears

Stocks slumped on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan declined to take additional stimulus measures, a move that increased investors’ worries about the eventual decline in central bank support that has bolstered an equities rally.

At the end of Wall Street trading, the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index was down 1 percent in afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was off 0.8 percent and the Nasdaq composite was 1 percent lower.

The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady at the end of its two-day meeting, holding off on taking fresh steps to calm bond market volatility. Unhappy traders sent the Nikkei down 1.5 percent.

The lack of additional action rattled investors, underscoring worries about what would happen when the stimulus programs eventually go away. At the same time, nervousness remains over when the Federal Reserve may slow its measures, which have been a significant driver of this year’s stock market rally.

“This market has been fed by extremely supportive government policies around the world,” said Richard Meckler, president of the investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City. “You’re getting to that period where investors have to recognize that these policies are beginning to wrap up.”

In Europe, the broad FTSE Eurofirst 300 index of top shares, which has shed 5 percent in the previous 12 trading sessions, ended Tuesday’s session 1.2 percent lower.

But United States Treasury prices turned higher on Tuesday, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, erasing a modest loss, was up 6/32 to yield 2.19 percent. The 30-year Treasury extended a gain to 24/32, allowing its yield to ease to 3.33 percent.

Shares of Lululemon Athletica slumped more than 17 percent after the company’s chief executive said she would step down.

SoftBank said it would raise its offer for Sprint Nextel to $21.6 billion from $20.1 billion. Sprint was up 2.4 percent.

The S.P. 500 is up more than 15 percent since the start of the year, but markets have been bumpier since comments from the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, last month sparked uncertainty over the central bank’s timeline for slowing its $85 billion a month bond purchase program.

While the Bank of Japan left the door open to taking fresh steps to calm markets if borrowing costs spiked again, it did not appear to assuage investors. “The B.O.J. took some big steps and had some big changes but now that they’ve done that, the market is looking for even more,” Mr. Meckler said.

Seasonality was also playing a part in Tuesday’s weakness as equities tend to have less direction in the summer months, he said.

Shares in the Dole Food Company rose 22 percent after Dole received an unsolicited buyout offer from its chief executive.

The Catamaran Corporation climbed 11 percent after it signed a 10-year agreement with the Cigna Corporation.

Boeing raised its 20-year forecast for demand, saying airlines will need 35,280 new airplanes worth $4.8 trillion as the world’s fleet doubles. Boeing shares fell 0.5 percent.

The yen extended its rally after the Bank of Japan’s lack of action, and the dollar traded as low as 95.68 yen for a 3 percent loss on the day.

The euro briefly traded above $1.33, but gains were pared headed into Europe’s stock market close, with the euro last trading at $1.3274, up 0.1 percent on the day.

In the debt market, investors pulled out of the riskiest assets, sending Greek 10-year bond yields up 75 basis points, to 10.22 percent. Portuguese equivalent bonds rose 34 basis points, to 6.59 percent.

The Greek government has failed to find buyers for its state-owned natural gas company, threatening the privatization goal set under the country’s bailout.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/12/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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