US stocks dip as market weighs Fed shift

NEW YORK (AFP) – Wall Street stocks finished modestly lower on Thursday (Jan 6) after a choppy session as markets digested mixed economic data and amid concerns over tightening Federal Reserve monetary policy.

After Wednesday’s rout, stocks attempted to rally during the session, but bargain hunting efforts were not sustained.

Investors remained focused on the prospect of tightening Fed policy after the US central bank again signaled the likelihood of higher interest rates in 2022 as well a faster-than-expected move to reduce its bond holdings.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note, a proxy for Fed expectations, pushed higher towards 2 per cent.

“The big question for many traders is how high yields will go up and… will it become a problem for the economy,” Edward Moya of Oanda said in a note.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.5 per cent at 36,236.47.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.1 per cent to end 4,696.05, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also declined 0.1 per cent to 15,080.86.

Data released on Thursday pointed to a modest increase in weekly jobless claims, a jump in the trade deficit and slower growth in the services sector due to supply chain snarls.

Investors are looking ahead to Friday’s monthly government jobs report, expected to show the US economy added 440,000 jobs in the final month of 2021, with unemployment dipping to 4.1 per cent.


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