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U.S. 10-year Treasury yield at highest since July 2008
Netflix jumps after reversing customer losses
Tesla third quarter earnings awaited
Procter & Gamble up on Q1 revenue, profit beat
Indexes: Dow up 0.21%, S&P down 0.10%, Nasdaq down 0.10%
(Updates prices to open)
By Ankika Biswas and Shreyashi Sanyal
Oct 19 (Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes struggled for direction on Wednesday as a surge in Treasury yields to 14-year highs on expectations of bigger interest rate hikes dampened budding optimism from a bright start to the earnings season.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note climbed to its highest levels since July 2008 in a steep selloff in U.S. government bonds, with a weak U.S. housing report failing to deter investors from selling bonds.
Housing starts, a measure of new residential constructions, dropped 8.1% in September in the latest sign of the economy losing steam, taking a hit from the Federal Reserve aggressive monetary policy tightening.
The PHLX Housing Index fell 3.4%, adding more pain to stock markets attempting to break out of months of declines, with the three main indexes remaining deep in bear market territory.
While some gauges of the equity market’s health showed that the latest rally may be the start of a sustained move higher, many investors are awaiting signs of cooling inflation, which is way above the Federal Reserve’s target.
The U.S. central bank is likely to raise rates by 75-basis points for the fourth straight time this year in November.
“We probably just saw a bear market bounce and it is going to be in this kind of environment where the market’s going to face volatility until the Fed feels comfortable enough to slow their pace of rate hikes,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut.
“That probably won’t be coming until we start to see some weakness in the labor market, which is helping fuel inflation pressures.”
Analysts have cut their third-quarter profit growth expectations for S&P 500 companies to just 2.8%, from an 11.1% increase forecast at the start of July, according to Refinitiv data.
At 10:41 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 63.29 points, or 0.21%, at 30,587.09, the S&P 500 was down 3.85 points, or 0.10%, at 3,716.13 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 11.31 points, or 0.10%, at 10,761.10.
Netflix jumped 14.8% after it attracted 2.4 million new subscribers worldwide in the third quarter, more than double the consensus forecast, and guided for 4.5 million additions by year end.
Dow components Procter & Gamble Co and Travelers Companies Inc rose 3.4% and 2.6%, respectively, after the companies posted better-than expected quarterly profit.
Growth stocks including Amazon.com, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc fell between 0.52% and 1.38%.
Tesla Inc added 0.15% ahead of its earnings after the bell, with focus on any weakness in demand that is starting to weigh on the auto industry.
Apple Inc is cutting production of iPhone 14 Plus within weeks of starting shipments. Shares of the company reversed early declines to edge 0.32% higher.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.56-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.92-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 18 new highs and 100 new lows. (Reporting by Ankika Biswas and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)