Stocks fell on Monday as traders tried to regain their footing amid growing concerns over rising rates and tightening US monetary policy.
The major averages were well off their session lows around midday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell just 12 points after falling about 300 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 fell slightly and the Nasdaq Composite fell just 0.4%.
Technology and healthcare were the worst performing sectors in the S&P 500, while energy and utilities outperformed. Dow Inc and Salesforce were the biggest laggards in the 30 Dow Industrials stocks; these losses were mitigated by 1% advances on Walmart and Chevron.
Wall Street suffered a sharp sell-off on Friday, when brief and blunt remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, appeared to dash hopes that the central bank would reverse its aggressive course of rate hikes in the coming months.
The Dow Jones fell 1,008 points, or just over 3%, for its worst day since May. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 3.4% and 3.9%, respectively, for their worst days since June. The decline erased August’s gains for all three averages.
“As Friday’s aggressive and relentless selling wanes, there isn’t much real buying demand – even the bulls want to push through some of this week’s major macro events (including the Chinese PMI and the Eurozone CPI on Wednesday and US jobs report on Friday) before moving back to the long side,” wrote Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge. “The late summer attendance/volume conditions make the environment even more treacherous than normal, while the horrid September seasons are just another factor keeping people on edge.”
The rest of the week brings more speeches from the Fed, including Vice Chairman Lael Brainard on Tuesday, ahead of the August nonfarm payrolls report on Friday.