Markets

Choppy trading marks end of worst week for stocks in two years

Choppy trading marks end of worst week for stocks in two years

The strong open came a day after the market entered a "correction" for the first time in two years. Earlier in the day it had dropped by 500. Eight stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange and 490 of the companies in the S&P 500 took a loss.

Both indexes have erased 2018 gains even after clocking their best starts to a year in January in some time.

The Dow Jones Transport Average index fell 0.23 percent.

On Friday alone, the S&P 500 swung from gains of up to 2.2 per cent to declines of 1.9 per cent, echoing the big swings of the past week.

The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries, which tends to be the driver of global borrowing costs, was hovering at 2.84 per cent, set to end the week little changed since hitting a near a four-year high of 2.885 per cent Monday.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region followed Wall Street sharply lower on Friday.

Among the stocks with unusual options volume today is Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS), with more than 50,000 puts traded - 10 times what's typically seen at this point in the day.

White House spokesman Raj Shah expressed concern about the drop in stocks, but continued to point to robust employment data and corporate earnings as signs that "long term fundamentals demonstrate a healthy economy".




USA fund investors sucked $23.9 billion out of the stock market in the latest week, marking the largest withdrawals from those funds on record, but bulls were still encouraged by strength in the global economy and solid US corporate earnings.

The price of gold rose $4.40, or 0.3 percent, to $1,319 an ounce.

The Dow was down by 296 points Friday afternoon after quickly rising almost 350 points in early trading.

However the decline of less than 5 per cent pales in comparison to two consecutive days in October 1929 when the Dow plunged by 13 per cent and then 12 per cent. Brent crude, the global standard for oil prices, gave up 70 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $64.81 per barrel in London. The Nasdaq plummeted 275 points to close at 6,777. "The trigger has been the really fast rise in bond yields", said Evan Brown, director of asset allocation at UBS Asset Management.

On Friday, benchmark 10-year notes were last down 2/32 in price to yield 2.855 percent, near where they ended at last Friday. We're now going to see what happens when Wall Street has the flu, says one market watcher.

Now, there are fears that interest rates may rise and that some of the exuberance in equity markets over the past year or so may have been misplaced.

2 stocks sinking on an Amazon blow.

Dow futures dropped about 150 points on Wednesday morning as the volatility that has rocked markets for more than a week lingers.


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