US stocks add to losses on worries about interest rates

New York: Losses on Wall Street deepened in the late morning Thursday amid concerns over higher Treasury bond yields and the prospects for more Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

Near 1640 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 24,507.01, down 1.6 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.2 percent to 2,649.00, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 1.4 percent to 6,951.48.

The pullback came amid another spurt higher in Treasury bond yields, a focal point for investors concerned that the Fed may accelerate rate hikes if inflation rises suddenly.

“Equities are going to do this until they don’t,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

The mood “is more frustration than anything else,” Hogan added. “We don’t have a lot of panic … It’s just a functioning of testing the lows.”

A note from cited trader concern about the US deficit in light of budget agreement deal in the US Senate, as well as stay-the-course comments from US central bankers downplaying Wall Street volatility as stoking “concerns about a possible policy mistake by the Fed.”

US markets have been under pressure all week, with the Dow notching its biggest loss ever in terms of points on Monday, rallying on Tuesday and finishing modestly lower Wednesday after a morning rally fizzled in the closing moments of trading.

Among companies in the Dow, industrials Boeing, Caterpillar and General Electric all lost at least two percent, along with Home Depot and Intel. Apple was the only member of the 30-company index solidly in positive territory, up 0.5 percent.

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