US stocks fell firmly on Tuesday after a surge in US government bond yields to their highest level in almost seven years challenged appetite for equities compared with climbing rates for risk-free bonds.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 193 points, or 0.78%, to 24,706, ending its eight-session winning streak. The S&P 500 lost 19 points, or 0.68%, to 2,711 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 60 points, or 0.81%, to 7,352.
The yield on 10-year US Treasury notes jumped to its highest level since July 2011, suggesting an uptick in inflation and sending the dollar index to its highest close in 2018. The move raised expectations for further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
Markets focused early on economic reports with sales at US retailers rising for a second straight month in April. Investors also awaited high-level talks between China and the US set to commence this week in Washington.
The losses were broad-based, with all 11 major S&P sectors except energy closing down. Real estate, healthcare and technology stocks posted the biggest percentage losses.
Home Depot Inc shares slipped 1.6% after the home improvement retailer missed sales forecasts as the long winter put a damper on demand for spring products. Smaller rival Lowe’s Companies Inc was down 1.0%.
Agilent Technologies Inc. dropped 9.7% after the maker of medical instruments and other equipment posted quarterly earnings that matched forecasts late Monday.
Among the technology stocks pressuring the overall market, Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, fell 2%, while Facebook Inc. lost 1.2%. Apple Inc. fell 0.9%.
In Asia, shares declined on Wednesday in morning session after North Korea pulled out of high-level talks with Seoul and as US Treasury yields rose to the highest level in seven years overnight.
The North Korean announcement sent South Korea’s Kospi 0.2% lower. In Japan, the Topix index was off 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.8%. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.43%.
Australian stocks bucked the region’s downward trend, rising 0.4%.