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Stocks gained Wednesday to steady after a broad sell-off a day earlier, as investors nervously eyed soaring bond yields and mixed earnings results from some major index components.
The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq rose. The Nasdaq Composite had closed out Tuesday’s session with a drop of 2.6%, bringing it to its lowest level since October. The index also came within striking distance of a correction, typically defined as a closing level at least 10% below a recent record high.
Meanwhile, Bank of America (BAC) shares gained in early trading after the company topped estimates for quarterly loan growth and posted a jump in profits in its key consumer banking business. Procter & Gamble (PG) also rose after the company exceeded expectations in its latest results and raised its sales guidance for the full year, with higher prices from the company helping boost results.
Treasury yields built on recent gains, and the benchmark 10-year yield neared 1.9% for its highest level since January 2020. Commodity prices also advanced further, and U.S. West Texas intermediate crude oil futures rose above $86 per barrel.
According to many strategists, the recent volatility across risk assets has largely reflected investors’ ongoing reassessment of highly valued asset prices, with interest rate hikes and an attenuation of liquidity out of the Federal Reserve looming.
Though Fed officials are in a blackout period before their next meeting next week, policymakers over the past several weeks have telegraphed that they are gearing up to raise interest rates and eventually draw down the nearly $9 trillion on the Fed’s balance sheet as the economic recovery continues and inflation soars.
“At this point, it’s very clear that the first rate hike will be at the March meeting,” Jason Ware, Albion Financial Group partner and chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance Live on Tuesday. “What we’re going to be looking at is the language around inflation because at the end of the day, inflation is what’s driving Fed policy.”
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