Stocks

U.S. Stocks Lose Steam as Bond Yields Rise

U.S. stocks lost momentum Thursday as a selloff in government bonds picked up steam.

The S&P 500 fell 0.4%, erasing earlier gains. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.7%, adding to losses from Wednesday after a selloff in

Netflix

shares led the technology sector lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down less than 0.1%.

Investors this year have had to weigh signs of strong economic activity against fears that the Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy too quickly, potentially tripping up markets.

Anxiety over the Fed’s projected rate-increase path has helped fuel selling in Treasurys, sending bond yields higher. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was 2.935% Thursday, compared with 2.836% Wednesday and 1.496% at the end of 2021.

The renewed push higher in bond yields put fresh pressure on shares of technology companies, which alongside other risky investments tend to look less attractive to money managers when interest rates rise.

Advanced Micro Devices slipped 2.8%, while

Salesforce

lost 2.3% and

HP

declined 1.7%.

Some analysts say they believe even as the Fed normalizes monetary policy, U.S. stocks still have room to run, given the strength of the economy. So far, about 80% of the S&P 500 companies that have posted earnings results for the latest quarter have beaten analysts’ expectations, according to FactSet.

“Despite so many negative macro headlines, like the Russia-Ukraine conflict, inflation, and China’s zero-COVID policy, U.S. corporate profits continue to be resilient,” said

Michael Arone,

chief investment strategist for SPDR at State Street Global Advisors. “I don’t think the rise in rates will matter too much until you see economic data fall over.”

Tesla

shares jumped 6.1% after the electric-vehicle maker reported $3.3 billion in quarterly profits late Wednesday, its highest profit to date.

AT&T

shares added 4.5% after reporting stronger-than-expected growth in its core wireless business.

Airline stocks also rallied.

American Airlines Group

shares rose 4% after the carrier reported that revenue more than doubled in the first quarter. United Airlines, which also benefited from a surge in post-lockdown travel, rose 10%.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose on signs that Russian oil production is falling and Europe is moving toward putting an end to imports of Russian crude. U.S. crude oil prices added 1.6% to $103.81 a barrel. Germany said Wednesday it would stop buying Russian oil by the end of the year.

Traders worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. April 14, 2022.



Photo:

BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Overseas stock markets were mixed. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.3%, led by shares of travel, leisure and construction companies. France’s CAC 40 gained 1.4% after a pre-election debate in which incumbent, pro-business President

Emmanuel Macron

was judged by polls to have beaten far-right challenger Marine Le Pen

In China, shares came under pressure on concerns that Covid-19 shutdowns were slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.3% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 1.2%.

Write to Joe Wallace at joe.wallace@wsj.com and Akane Otani at akane.otani@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
Weekly jobless claims data are due at 8:30 a.m. ET. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said they were due at 10:30 a.m. ET. (Corrected on April 21.)

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