U.S. Stocks Move Lower As Treasury Yields Jump After 30-Year Bond Auction

After showing a lack of direction early in the session, stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Thursday. The major averages have slid more firmly into negative territory after spending much of the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages are off their worst levels but still in the red. The Dow is down 130.15 points or 0.4 percent at 33,982.12, the Nasdaq is down 53.47 points or 0.4 percent at 13,596.94 and the S&P 500 is down 18.87 points or 0.4 percent at 4,363.91.

The weakness that has emerged on Wall Street comes as treasury yields have jumped following the release of the results of the Treasury Department’s thirty-year bond auction.

The Treasury Department revealed this month’s auction of $24 billion worth of thirty-year bonds attracted below average demand.

The thirty-year bond auction drew a high yield of 4.769 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.24, while the ten previous thirty-year bond auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.38.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

Treasury yields, which move opposite of their price, shot up following the release of the results as bond prices slumped.

Meanwhile, traders are also looking ahead to remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell this afternoon.

With Powell refraining from addressing monetary policy during a speech on Wednesday, his remarks during a policy panel discussion at the 24th Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference may attract increased attention.

Sector News

Pharmaceutical stocks continue to see substantial weakness after trending higher in recent session, dragging the NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical Index down by 2.2 percent.

Considerable weakness also remains visible among biotechnology and healthcare stocks, with the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index and the Dow Jones U.S. Health Care Index falling by 2.1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

Airline, commercial real estate and banking stocks have also come under pressure over the course of the session, while networking stocks continue to turn in a strong performance.

Shares of Infinera (INFN) has led the networking sector, spiking by 17.2 percent after the telecom equipment company raised its third quarter guidance.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index surged by 1.5 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi edged up by 0.2 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index jumped by 1.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index advanced by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries have climbed off their worst levels of the day but remain in negative territory. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 9.3 basis points at 4.616 percent.

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