Stocks plunge amid spiking Treasury yields, disappointing earnings

Equities are being tested by the surge in bond yields, with some fund managers saying 3 percent USA 10-year rates would signal a bond bear market. We have these corrections.

"Sometimes we get something from out of the blue from other areas, but it really comes back to basic fundamentals of economics", Jurrien Timmer, director of global macroeconomics for Fidelity Investments, told NBC News. "Valuations for stocks are high, and we were due for a pullback", said Luke Tilley, chief economist for Wilmington Trust.

A higher wage-related index in the jobs data released on Friday raised speculation that inflation will accelerate. Higher bond yields also mean higher borrowing costs for corporations. Equities are being tested by the surge in bond yields, with some fund managers saying three per cent USA 10-year rates would signal a bond bear market. That is now infecting stocks, which, until this week, had been rallying even as bonds started to sell off. "It is hard to argue against a March Fed rate hike now", said James Knightley, chief worldwide economist at ING Bank.

"If Bob Mueller is challenged in a firing, or a prelude to a firing, then you're going to have a problem", he said. Doll said his target for fair value on the S&P 500 is 2,800 for year end.

The strong wages and job growth numbers ran the the 10-year yield up to 2.85%, its highest in four year. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 501 points, or 1.9 percent, to 25,685.

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Indeed, after more than a year of calm, there has been a mood shift on Wall Street this week as stock prices have dropped close to 3%. The Dow ended down 666 points, or about 2.5%, Friday as Treasury yields gathered steam following an upbeat jobs report. Rising yields can undercut appetite for assets perceived as risky, including stocks. As recently as 2016, a fall of 600 points on the Dow marked a almost 3.4 percent sell-off.

But worries about inflation grew when the report showed that average hourly wages grew 2.9 percent from a year ago - the largest increase since June 2009.

Analysts said markets may also be responding to outstanding political and policy issues, such as trade tensions with partners such as China and how tax cuts will shift corporate financial strategies.

Some strategists say it's not clear that's that there's any particular level in the bond market that will stall out the bull market but stocks are clearly stressed.

The April gold contract dropped US$10.60 to US$1,337.30 an ounce and the March copper contract lost about 2.2 cents to roughly US$3.19 a pound.

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