Economy

Markets Right Now: Stocks are mostly lower; bond yields rise

Markets Right Now: Stocks are mostly lower; bond yields rise

A surge in USA government bond yields to their highest level in nearly seven years sent Wall Street shares sliding on Tuesday after strong retail sales data stoked inflation concerns and investors fretted about looming trade talks between the United States and China. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Growth TSM Index closed at 9,941.29 for a loss of -8.02 points or -0.08%. US shares were set to drift slightly lower, with Dow futures down 0.4 percent and S&P 500 futures 0.3 percent lower.

The Nasdaq composite dropped 59.69 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,351.63. Among the worst performers on the S&P 500, Agilent Technologies (A) shares dropped almost 10% after the maker of medical instruments and other equipment posted quarterly earnings that matched forecasts late Monday.

The Dow is down 12.81 points, or 0.1 percent.

The surge came after the Commerce Department said retail sales climbed 0.3 percent in April.

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The health care (-1.3%) and tech (-1%) sectors also suffered large losses, while energy (+0.1%) was the only gainer, as June WTI crude settled 0.5% higher at $71.31/bbl.

Bond prices fell, sending yields higher, after the government reported a solid increase in retail sales last month. Mortgage rates, which have been rising this year, tend to track the movement in the 10-year Treasury yield. South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.7 percent to 2,458.54 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.2 percent to 31,152.03.

USA stocks dropped sharply on Tuesday after Home Depot reported quarterly sales that fell short of Wall Street's expectations and interest rates breached new highs. Capital One Financial rose 1.6 percent to $94.65. Losers led winners by a 2-1 margin on the NYSE and by 6-to-5 on the Nasdaq. Soon-to-be NY Fed President Williams noted that "inflation has just barely reached our 2 percent goal" and said that he thought the chances of two or three additional hikes this year were reasonably balanced.

Benchmark US crude oil reversed an early side, rising 35 cents to settle at $71.31 a barrel in NY. Nvidia fell 4.4 percent to $244.13. The euro weakened to $1.1884 from $1.1974. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.6 percent.