Updated at 4:15 pm EST
Stocks ended mixed Thursday, pulling the Dow into its sixth consecutive daily slump, as investors continue to shed risk assets in markets around the world on renewed concerns that central bank tightening, as well as surging inflation, will blunt growth prospects for the global economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 103 points, or 0.33%, at 31,729, while the S&P 500 lost 0.13% after earlier setting a fresh 52-week low.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq, which has been battered recently, finished up 0.06%.
Apple (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report fell into bear market territory and finishing down 2.7%, as a higher-than-expected reading for core inflation in April revived sharper Fed rate bets and hammered risk assets.
Bitcoin’s ongoing slump only added to the malaise, with prices for the world’s biggest cryptocurrency falling again in overnight trading to a one-year low of $26.750.90 each amid the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin.
Tech isn’t the only concern for the market at present, however, as the CBOE’s key volatility gauge, the VIX, continued to hold above 30, portending more wild market swings to come.
Slowing growth in Europe, where Britain’s economy contracted in March and looks likely to slip into recession over the coming months, added to investor woes, pushing investors into the arms of safe-haven assets such as U.S. Treasury bonds, which drove yields down to 2.857% on benchmark 10-year notes – a near 26 basis point rally from levels seen earlier this week.
Still, while bets on a 75 basis point rate hike have been sharply reduced as a result of the recent market slump, the CME Group’s FedWatch tool still suggests a 5.1% chance for the June meeting.
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In other markets, the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its global currency peers, rose 1% to a new 20-year high of 104.887 in another example of ‘risk-off’ sentiment in world stocks.
The surging U.S. dollar added downward pressure on oil prices, which rallied hard yesterday after the Energy Department said inventories at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve fell by a record 7 million barrels last week to a May 2001 low of 543 million barrels.
WTI crude futures for June delivery were last seen $1.02 higher at $106.70 per barrel while Brent futures for July rose 68 cents to $108.20 per barrel.
Dow component Walt Disney (DIS) – Get Walt Disney Company Report shares slumped to a two-year low after the media and entertainment giant cautioned that surging inflation and supply-chain snarls could blunt near-term profits, casting a cloud over a better-than-expected tally of subscriber addition to its Disney+ streaming service. Shares ended down nearly 1%.
Beyond Meat (BYND) – Get Beyond Meat, Inc. Report shares ended down 4.2%, after the plant-based food producer posted a wider-than-expected first quarter loss as marketing and new product launch costs hollowed-out the impact of impressive volume growth.
Apple shares fell 2.7%, extending the decline from its all-time high on January 3 to around 21%, as its key Taiwan-based assembler, Foxconn, cautioned that chip shortages and slumping demand would hit current quarter revenues.
Foxconn, the world’s biggest electronics manufacturer that is formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd., posted a 5% rise in March quarter profits of around $985 million, but said June quarter revenues, as well as those into the end of the year, would largely stagnate as a result of supply chain disruptions, China’s Covid lockdowns and slowing smartphone demand.
Shares ended down 0.5%.