Nasdaq leads Wall Street lower after hawkish Fed comments By Reuters

Nasdaq leads Wall Street lower after hawkish Fed comments By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Raindrops hang on a sign for Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan in New York City, New York, US, October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

By Shubham Batra and Ankika Biswas

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes slipped on Monday, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq down about 1%, as hawkish comments from a US Federal Reserve official tempered hopes of the central bank toning down its aggressive monetary policy approach.

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller, a voting member of the rate-setting committee this year, said on Sunday that markets should now pay attention to the “endpoint” of rate increases, not the pace of each move, and that the endpoint was likely” a way off”.

The comments follow a softer-than-expected inflation report last week, which had buoyed hopes that the Fed could scale back its hefty interest rate hikes and helped drive a euphoric market rally.

The in the previous session logged its biggest weekly percentage gain in about five months, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq notched its best week since March.

In the week ahead, focus will be on a slew of economic data including retail sales numbers on Wednesday as well as speeches by several Fed officials for further clues on the outlook for interest rates.

“The market is expecting the Fed to continue its hawkish rhetoric on rates. That could all change once we get more confirmation on inflation in December,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

Traders now expect the Fed to hike interest rates in December by a half point, and expect terminal rate in the range of 4.75%-5.0% next year.

At 9:42 am ET, the S&P 500 was down 17.25 points, or 0.43%, at 3,975.68, and the was down 115.13 points, or 1.02%, at 11,208.20.

The was down 7.84 points, or 0.02%, at 33,740.02. Gains in drugmakers including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) and Amgen (NASDAQ:) limited declines on the blue-chip index.

As US Treasury yields edged up, technology and growth names such as Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) and Inc (NASDAQ:) slipped between 1% and 3%. [US/]

The S&P 500 information technology sector was down 1.2% and among the leading sectoral decliners on the benchmark index.

Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc fell 3.4% as Chief Executive Elon Musk said “I have too much work on my plate” when asked about his recent acquisition of Twitter and his leadership of the electric-vehicle maker.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden put on Monday for long-awaited talks that come as relations between their countries are at their lowest in decades, marred by disagreements over a host of issues from Taiwan to trade.

Among other stocks, Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:) gained 3.4% and 1.4%, respectively, after the failure of Swiss rival Roche’s Alzheimer’s disease drug candidate.

Theater operator AMC Entertainment (NYSE:) jumped 6.5% as Marvel’s latest film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” grossed $330 million globally in its opening weekend, while Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:) fell 7.4% after BofA Global Research downgraded the toymaker’s stock.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.08-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.65-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded four new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 23 new highs and 21 new lows.

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