U.S. stocks fell Tuesday, as rising bond yields and energy prices weighed on the market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 650 points at the low of the day before recovering to a 569 point, or 1.6 percent, decline. The S&P 500 tumbled two percent. The Nasdaq Composite plunged 2.8 percent. The small-cap Russell 2000 index fell 2.2 percent.
Ten of the 11 sectors of the S&P 500 were off, with only the energy sector ending the day in positive territory. Information Technology was the worst-performing sector, down 2.6 percent. Communications Services fell 2.5 percent, dragged down by a 3.8 percent decline in interactive media and services, the category that includes Facebook and Alphabet.
The yield on 10-year Treasurys hit 1.54, the highest since June. Yields move in the opposite direction of bond prices, so a rising yield indicates a sell-off. Brent Crude briefly topped $80 a barrel, a three year high, and was at $78.52 at four p.m. in New York. Natural gas for October delivery traded at the costliest in seven years.
Bond yields have climbed after the Fed appeared to indicate it would begin to pull back its bond purchases later this week. The economic forecasts of individual members of the Federal Open Market Committee indicated that the median expectation for a rise in the Fed’s interest rate target had been pulled forward, expectations for 2021 growth have diminished, and inflation this year is expected to be stronger than anticipated.
Investors are also worried that sharply higher energy costs could weigh on profits and fuel inflationary pressures. Food prices are rising rapidly as well. Higher prices of food and energy can also eat into what consumers spend on other goods and services.
Consumer confidence slumped in September, the third straight monthly decline, the Conference Board said Tuesday. Home prices are up 19.7 percent compared with a year ago, according to the Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.