U.S. Stocks Move Mostly Lower Amid Ongoing Economic Worries

Stocks have moved mostly lower over the course of the trading day on Monday, extending the sell-off seen last week. The major averages have all moved to the downside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the slide.

Currently, the major averages are just off their lows of the session. While the Nasdaq is down 116.74 points or 1.1 percent at 10,588.68, the S&P 500 is down 19.31 points or 0.5 percent at 3,833.05 and the Dow is down 20.18 points or 0.1 percent at 32,900.28.

The extended weakness on Wall Street comes as traders continue to express concerns about the outlook for the economy.

The Federal Reserve has indicated it plans to continue raising interest rates next year, leading to worries the aggressive monetary policy tightening will tip the economy into a recession.

On Friday, the Commerce Department is due to release its report on personal income and spending, which includes a reading on inflation said to be preferred by the Fed.

With Fed Chair Jerome Powell saying the central bank will require “substantially more evidence” inflation is on a sustained downward trend before halting its rate hikes, traders are likely to keep a close eye on the inflation reading.

Reports on housing starts, consumer confidence, new and existing home sales and durable goods orders are also likely to attract attention in the coming days.

In U.S. economic news, the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing homebuilder confidence in the U.S. has unexpectedly seen a continued deterioration in the month of December.

The report showed the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell to 31 in December from 33 in November. The decreased surprised economists, who had expected the index to rise to 36.

The housing market index declined for the twelfth straight month, falling to its lowest reading since mid-2012, with the exception of the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

Software stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index down by 1.7 percent to its lowest intraday level in over a month.

Significant weakness is also visible among biotechnology stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index.

Semiconductor, transportation and computer hardware stocks are also seeing considerable weakness, while oil stocks have moved to the upside.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 1.1 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index dove by 1.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index are both up by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have moved sharply lower, extending the pullback seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 10.8 basis points at 3.590 percent.

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