U.S. Stocks Extending Yesterday’s Sell-Off Amid Lingering Interest Rate Worries

Stocks have moved notably lower in morning trading on Tuesday, extending the sell-off seen over the course of the previous session. The major averages have all come under pressure, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the way lower.

The major averages have seen further downside in recent trading, falling to new lows for the session. The Dow is down 210.60 points 0.6 percent at 33,736.50, the Nasdaq is down 173.28 points or 1.5 percent at 11,066.65 and the S&P 500 is down 43.08 points or 1.1 percent at 3,955.76.

The continued weakness on Wall Street reflects lingering concerns about the outlook for interest rates ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

While the Fed is widely expected to slow the pace of interest rate hikes next week, recent upbeat economic data has raised concerns about how much further the central bank will raise rates at future meetings.

Traders are likely to pay close attention to the Fed’s accompanying statement, although a lot of key data will be released before the next meeting in late January/early February.

In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing the U.S. trade deficit widened in the month of October.

The report said the trade deficit widened to $78.2 billion in October from a revised $74.1 billion in September. Economists had expected the trade deficit to increase to $79.1 billion from the $73.3 billion originally reported for the previous month.

The wider trade deficit came as the value of exports slid by 0.7 percent to $256.6 billion, while the value of imports climbed by 0.6 percent to $334.8 billion.

Banking stocks are extending the sell-off seen in the previous session, resulting in a 1.9 percent slump by the KBW Bank Index. The index has fallen to its lowest intraday level in well over a month.

Significant weakness is also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.8 percent drop by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Computer hardware stocks are also seeing considerable weakness on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Computer Hardware Index down by 1.7 percent.

Transportation, biotechnology and retail stocks have also shown notable moves to the downside, while steel stocks are among the few groups bucking the downtrend.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index has slid by 0.8 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are down by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground following the sharp pullback seen in the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 3.6 basis points at 3.563 percent.

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