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Stocks fall as choppy October continues, Dow drops more than 250 points

Stocks fall as choppy October continues, Dow drops more than 250 points

06 Oct 2021

Stocks declined on Wednesday as October continued its volatility amid concerns about rising rates, higher inflation, the state of the reopening and the debt limit.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 250 points, dragged down by a 3% loss in Dow Inc. The S&P 500 shed 0.5%. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.25%.

So far in the three prior trading sessions of October, the Dow has gained 483 points, lost 324 points and on Tuesday, jumped 312 points.

“Well, October is sure living up to its reputation as the most volatile month of the year. We expect the October roller-coaster market to stick around for a bit longer,” said Ryan Detrick of LPL Financial.

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The selling on Wednesday was broad based, with losses in growth names and those tied to the economic recovery.

American Airlines and JetBlue led reopening plays lower, falling 4% each following a downgrade by Goldman Sachs. Goldman cited higher fuel prices and slower near-term demand.

Boeing and General Electric lost 2% and 1%, respectively. Cruise lines were also lower with Carnival Corp. dipping more than 3%.

Tech shares were also taking hits with Facebook and Apple both lower by more than than 1%. Electronic Arts dropped 5% and Seagate Technologies fell 4.5%.

Recent increases in energy prices and interest rates are raising concerns about higher costs for consumers and companies. The 10-year Treasury yield was flat Wednesday around 1.52%, after topping 1.56% last week. Oil prices hit the highest since 2014 this week with WTI crude oil nearly topping $80 a barrel.

September’s ADP report showed that private companies hired at a faster clip than expected last month, despite worries about the delta variant. Private jobs rose by 568,000 for the month, better than the Dow Jones estimate from economists of 425,000.

Wednesday’s report initially sent bond yields higher, unnerving investors about rates and inflation and how soon the Federal Reserve will begin removing policy stimulus. The report could set the tone ahead of the closely followed nonfarm payrolls report on Friday from the Labor Department.

Investors are also monitoring progress in Washington on the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC on Tuesday the U.S. would fall into a recession if Congress failed to raise the debt ceiling before an Oct. 18 deadline.

Tuesday marked a broad advance with nine out of 11 S&P 500 sectors closing positive. The Dow gained nearly 1%. The S&P 500 rose 1.05% and the Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.25%. 

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