US stock indexes jumped more than 1% in volatile trading on Wednesday as easing Treasury yields lifted rate-sensitive growth stocks, while losses in Apple Inc after it dropped plans to boost iPhone production hurt the technology sector.
Equity markets also got a boost from a Bank of England decision to restore financial stability by buying as many long-dated government bonds as needed. The move lifted British bond prices and pushed global benchmark yields lower.
The yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury bill came off 12-year highs to hit the day’s low of 3.751%, while Germany’s 10-year government bond yield, the benchmark for the euro zone, fell after touching a 11-year high.
Investors also keenly listened to comments from Federal Reserve officials on the path of monetary policy, with Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic backing another 75 basis-point interest rate hike in November.
Much to the market’s relief, Fed Chair Jerome Powell did not comment on monetary policy or the U.S. economic outlook on Wednesday.
Amid an aggressive push by the Fed to raise borrowing costs even at the risk of slowing down economic growth, Wall Street’s main indexes remained in a bear market, with the S&P 500 recording its lowest close in almost two years on Tuesday.
“Can the move up in stock prices today be sustained for a period of time? Well, maybe a couple of days, but I don’t think we can use the expression ‘out of the woods’ with the concerns about the economy getting deeper,” said Hugh Johnson, chief economist of Hugh Johnson Economics in Albany, New York.
Meanwhile, shares of the world’s most valuable public company lost 2.83% after Bloomberg reported that Apple told suppliers to curtail efforts to increase assembly of its iPhone 14 products by as many as 6 million units in the second half of this year.
“Apple’s announcement…does play into that notion that we’re already in a situation where it’s harder for companies to start to see their profit continue to hold at previous levels during the recovery from the pandemic,” said Daniela Hathorn, market analyst, Capital.com.
Among the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, technology was the sole decliner, down 0.5% due to Apple’s drag. Leading the gains were communication services, healthcare and energy, up between 2% and 2.5%.
At 12:19 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 452.74 points, or 1.55%, at 29,587.73, the S&P 500 was up 60.32 points, or 1.65%, at 3,707.61, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 169.50 points, or 1.57%, at 10,999.00.
Biogen shares surged 37.47% after its Alzheimer’s drug, developed with Japanese partner Eisai, succeeded in slowing cognitive decline.
Eli Lilly & Co, which is also developing an Alzheimer’s drug, rose 8.17% and was among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 index.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 6.43-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 4.02-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 30 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 21 new highs and 192 new lows.
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