Nasdaq Ends Sharply Lower after Powell Comments


March 4 Reuters Wall Street ended sharply lower on Thursday, leaving the Nasdaq down around 10 from its February record high, after remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell disappointed investors worried about rising longerterm U.S. bond yields.

The benchmark 10year Treasury yield spiked to 1.533 after Powells comments, which did not point to changes in the Feds asset purchases to tackle the recent jump in yields. It still held below last weeks oneyear high of 1.614.

Some investors had expected the Fed might step up purchases of longterm bonds, helping push down longterm interest rates.

The market has been worried about the rise in longterm interest rates and the Fed chairman in his commentary didnt really push back towards this increase in rates and the market took it as a signal that yields could rise further, which is what has happened, said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in Florida.

The Nasdaq wiped out all of its yeartodate gains and was down about 10 from its record closing high on Feb. 12.

Data showed the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits rose last week, likely boosted by brutal winter storms in the densely populated South, though the labor market outlook is improving amid declining new COVID19 cases.

The crucial monthly payrolls report is expected on Friday.

Wall Street has been under pressure in recent sessions as a spike in U.S. bond yields hurt valuations of highflying tech stocks. Stocks expected to thrive as the…

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