The Friday Market Minute
- Wall Street extends its weekly decline as Treasury yields bump higher and global stocks book their second consecutive week of losses amid concerns over growth prospects in China and the pace of the U.S. recovery.
- Indebted property developer China Evergrande continues to rattle investors in Asia as it faces $150 million in coupon payments later this month.
- Record inflows into U.S. large caps provided some support Friday, but next week's Fed meeting expected to be major market catalyst.
- Friday brought 'Quadruple Witching Hour' to Wall Street with the quarterly expiration of futures and options on indices and futures and options on single stocks.
U.S. stocks closed lower Friday, as investors remain focused on slowing growth and financial risk in China and the delta variant’s negative impact on the global economy.
A 4-basis point rise in the 10-year Treasury note yield, which recently stood at 1.37%, pushed stocks lower too. Meanwhile, data showed consumer sentiment stabilizing following the late summer hit from Delta infections.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.48%, the S&P 500 lost 0.91% and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite shed 0.91%.
U.S. Steel Corp X shares fell 8% after the company forecast record third quarter profits and unveiled plans for a new $3 billion mill that will start producing in 2024.
Pfizer PFE slid 1%, after a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee rejected a plan to administer booster shots of Pfizer and BioNTech’s (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Sponsored ADR Report Covid-19 vaccine to the general public.
Zoom Video ZM gained 3% from a four-month low, following a report that shareholder advisory service ISS will recommend Five9 FIVN shareholders reject its $15 billion all-stock takeover.
In other markets, oil prices slipped from near two-month highs on demand concerns and profit-taking. But traders remain wary of the slow return to production for Gulf drillers and refiners following damage and evacuations linked to Hurricanes Nicholas and Ida.
October WTI futures for October delivery fell 0.85% to $71.99 per barrel.
European stocks got an early boost from Britain's plans to ease COVID-linked travel restrictions, but those gains faded as U.S. stocks drifted lower. The Stoxx 600 slipped 0.9%.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.58% higher amid speculation that outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's replacement will be appointed in the coming weeks.
The regionwide MSCI ex-Japan index firmed 0.3, thanks in part to gains in Shanghai and Shenzen. But China Evergrande shares hit a fresh seven-year low in Hong Kong trading Friday, extending their 2021 slump to around 83%.
Elsewhere, Asia stocks notched a modest rebound, but remained down for the week amid data showing a notable slowdown in China, concern over Beijing's corporate crackdown and speculation that deeply-indebted Evergrande poses systemic risk to the regional's financial markets.