On Tuesday, low trading volume, a lull in economic news, and the lack of a catalyst to raise stocks higher sparked a sell-off by investors concerned that market upside is small.
Yellen said rates will likely rise as government spending ramps up and the economy responds with faster growth, comments that economists regarded as self-evident. In a subsequent interview, the former Federal Reserve Chair said she wasn’t predicting or recommending rate hikes.
The debate about whether government spending would lead to excessive inflation is taking place at a time when market valuations are nearing two-decade highs. Despite some astronomically high corporate profits, investors have been hesitant to extend rallies. Although the Fed has assured investors that interest rates will stay at current lows throughout the recovery, improving data has fueled fears that policymakers will tighten earlier than expected.
After slipping 1.5 percent at its low, the wide market index finished the session 0.7 percent lower at 4,164.66. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.9 percent to 13,633.50, its lowest level since March, due to pressure on some of the world’s largest technology firms. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 1.59% on Tuesday
Apple, the world’s most valuable publicly traded stock, fell 3.5 percent. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, fell 1.6 percent, Facebook fell 1.3 percent, and Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, fell 1.7 percent. Nvidia and Intel both lost 3.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, as investors punished the market’s chipmakers.
Due to good results in Dow Inc and Caterpillar, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day in the green. After falling more than 300 points sometime on Tuesday, the 30-stock benchmark closed 19.8 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 34,133.03.
Looking forward, the ADP jobs report for the United States is due today, while Chicago Fed President Charles Evans gives a virtual speech at a Bard College event on Wednesday. Loretta Mester, President of the Cleveland Federal Reserve, delivers a virtual address to the Boston Economic Club. Furthermore, the April U.S. employment report is released on Friday.