After initially showing a lack of direction, stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of the trading session on Friday. The major averages have slid more firmly into negative territory after spending the morning bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
Currently, the major averages all remain in the red, although the Dow is down a relatively modest 59.11 points or 0.2 percent at 35,182.48. The Nasdaq is down 141.02 points or 1 percent at 14,044.62 and the S&P 500 is down 24.93 points or 0.6 percent at 4,479.15.
The downturn on Wall Street seemed to coincide with an increase in treasury yields, which turned positive after an early move to the downside.
The ten-year yield rose as high as 2.063 percent, its highest intraday level since late July of 2019, but has given back ground since then.
The increase in yields, which came on the heels of the spike in the previous session, has led to renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates following yesterday’s inflation data.
As reflected by the steep drop by the tech-heavy Nasdaq, technology stocks have helped to lead the extended pullback on Wall Street.
Semiconductor stocks have shown a significant move to the downside, dragging the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 2 percent.
Notable weakness has also emerged among software stocks, as reflected by the 1.3 percent drop by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.
On the other hand, gold stocks continue to see considerable strength on the day, resulting in a 4.1 percent spike by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index.
The rally by gold stocks comes amid a modest increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for April delivery rising $3.80 to $1,841.20 an ounce.
A sharp increase by the price of crude oil is also contributing to continued strength among energy stocks. Crude for March delivery is currently surging $2.12 to $92 a barrel.
Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the Philadelphia Oil Service Index is up by 3.5 percent, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index is up by 2.1 percent and the NYSE Arca Oil Index is up by 1.9 percent.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Friday, with the Japanese markets closed for a holiday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slid by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down by 0.1 percent.
The major European markets also moved to the downside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.3 percent, the German DAX Index fell by 0.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dipped by 0.2 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries have shown a lack of direction over the course of the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is unchanged at 2.031 percent.
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