US stocks were under pressure Tuesday, with the Nasdaq losing more than 2% near noon ET as steady selling has hit markets since the opening bell.
Near 12:00 p.m. ET, the S&P 500 down 1.2%, the Dow off 0.7%, and the Nasdaq down as much as 2.1%. The small cap Russell 2000 was also down more than 1%.
Stocks had taken a leg lower in morning trade after a new report showed US consumer confidence deteriorated to a 16-month low in June amid ongoing inflation concerns, stoking concerns that souring outlooks would contributed to a further slowdown in actual spending and activity.
Domestic stocks were briefly buoyed during the pre-market session and at the market open China cut in half its required quarantine times for travelers, in a sign the country may be loosening its most stringent COVID zero policies that had acted as a risk to growth. Stock indexes in Asia and Europe broadly gained. US crude oil prices briefly rose above $111 per barrel, and the 10-year Treasury yield jumped back above 3.25% to approach last week’s highs.
US equity investors remain closely attuned to signs of an economic deceleration in the US, with inflation continuing to run at multi-decade highs and monetary policymakers maintaining a firm stance that their priority remains bringing down prices even at the expense of some growth. Closely watched data from the University of Michigan last Friday suggested consumers were at least beginning to temper their expectations for how hot inflation will run in the near-term, however, helping contribute to a stock rally that closed out the S&P 500’s second-best week of 2022.
With quarterly corporate earnings season set the pick up in the next few weeks, the focus will soon shift to how companies have been navigating persistent inflation alongside early indications of softening demand. As of Friday, consensus Wall Street strategists were still predicting S&P 500 earnings would grow, in aggregate, by 10.4%, according to FactSet. Some have indicated this estimate will need to be revised down to fully reflect inflation’s impact to margins, and the effects of an otherwise softening economy. Semiconductor bellwether Micron (MU) is set to report earnings later this week, with the pace of the earnings reports set to pick up in mid-July.
“I think we’re gonna have a second half that’s frustrating the bulls and frustrating the bears, bouncing around a bunch as we kind of digest the economy slowing,” Bob Doll, Crossmark Global Investments chief investment officer, told Yahoo Finance Live. “How much of an effect does that have on earnings? Maybe we get a little better inflation news so the [price-earnings ratio of the S&P 500] doesn’t get threatened as much. But we’re moving from a period where it’s all been about PEs multiples declining. And we’re moving to a period where I think the earnings are gonna be watched more carefully than the PE.”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 16: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on June 16, 2022 in New York City. Stocks fell sharply in morning trading as investors react to the Federal Reserve’s largest rate hike since 1994. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
On the move
Nike (NKE) shares dipped after the athletic apparel-maker offered a disappointing full-year outlook, reflecting in large part ongoing concerns over sales trends in its business in China. Sales in Greater China fell by 20%, excluding currency impacts, in Nike’s latest quarter. Nike said it expects revenue will grow by a low double-digit percentage this year, with gross margins flat to down by 50 basis points.
Robinhood’s (HOOD) stock fell to give back some gains after rallying by 14% in its best day in over a month on Monday, following a report that FTX might be considering a deal to buy the trading platform. Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO and founder of FTX, told Yahoo Finance, however, that “there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood.”
Kezar Life Sciences (KZR) shares soared after the company announced “positive results” from a phase 2 clinical trial for its drug aimed at treating treading lupus nephritis. The stock was on track for its best session since June 2020 based on early price action.
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.