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Wall Street tumbles on fears of aggressive Fed

  • Amazon, UnitedHealth among bidders for Signify – report
  • AMC tumbles as UK’s Cineworld mulls bankruptcy filing
  • Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rises past 3%
  • Indexes down: S&P 500 -2.05%, Nasdaq -2.41%, Dow -1.85%

Aug 22 (Reuters) – Wall Street tumbled on Monday as investors fretted about a U.S. Federal Reserve gathering later this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that is expected to reinforce a strong commitment by the central bank to stamp out inflation.

All of 11 S&P 500 sector indexes fell, led lower by consumer discretionary (.SPLRCD), down 2.7%, followed by a 2.6% loss in communication services (.SPLRCL).

Amazon (AMZN.O) and Nvidia (NVDA.O) each dropped more than 3%, while Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Tesla (TSLA.O) both lost more than 2% as the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose past 3% for the first time since July 21.

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Technology and other higher-growth stocks often fall when bond yields rise.

After a summer rally on Wall Street ended last week, the S&P 500 (.SPX) remains down about 13% so far in 2022.

The CBOE Volatility index (.VIX), Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose to 23.8, its highest in over two weeks.

Focus is on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday at the central banking conference in Jackson Hole for further cues on how aggressively the Fed is likely to be with future interest rate hikes.

“Powell is going to try to sound hawkish to tamp down inflationary expectations and tighten financial conditions. So that’s most likely going to be a negative catalyst for the market,” warned Jay Hatfield, chief investment officer at Infrastructure Capital Management in New York.

The Fed will probably raise interest rates by 50 basis points in September, according to economists polled by Reuters. read more

However, traders are split between a 50 bps hike and a 75 bps hike by the central bank, even as several policymakers recently pushed back against expectations of a dovish pivot and emphasized the Fed’s commitment to fight against inflation. FEDWATCH

Investors will also be looking for details on the Fed’s plans to reduce its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet, a process that started in June. read more

In afternoon trading, the S&P 500 was down 2.05% at 4,141.80 points.

The Nasdaq declined 2.41% to 12,399.42 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.85% at 33,082.89 points.

Slowdown fears hit markets globally. China’s central bank trimmed some key lending rates on Monday in a bid to support a slowing economy and a stressed housing sector. read more

Also bleeding into negative sentiment on Wall Street, European shares dropped after Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) said last week it would halt natural gas supplies to Europe for three days at the end of August. read more

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (AMC.N)tumbled 39% after the cinema chain’s preferred stock listing started trading and its UK-based rival Cineworld Group (CINE.L) warned of a possible bankruptcy filing. read more

Signify Health Inc (SGFY.N)jumped 32% following a report on Sunday that UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) and Option Care Health Inc (OPCH.O) were bidding to acquire the company. read more

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones within the S&P 500 (.AD.SPX) by a 22.9-to-one ratio.

The S&P 500 posted one new highs and 31 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 25 new highs and 146 new lows.

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Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Devik Jain in Bengaluru, and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Marguerita Choy

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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