Saturday, 21 July, 2018

U.S. stocks rebound, Facebook continues to tumble

Reuters Reuters
Jodi Jackson | 22 March, 2018, 02:10

Gains were however, limited as shares of Facebook extended their losses from Monday and fell 5.2% on reports that US Federal Trade. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 7.04 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,719.96.

US stocks sank about 2 percent on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding almost 400 points, as Facebook led a selloff in technology stocks on reports that the social media company's user information was misused.

The U.S. central bank as expected raised its policy rate to 1.50-1.75 percent, but disappointed currency traders who had bet it was prepared to raise rates four times this year as the jobs market approaches full employment. Facebook Inc. (FB) shares slumped 2.5% as global regulators turned up the heat on the social network company. The yen, typically bought during times of stress, rose to the day's high versus the dollar around 106.26. "But if we see retaliation, and significant trade disruptions, it's a different order of magnitude (which) could begin to affect global growth forecasts", said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

The tech selloff was a serious setback to markets just as they recovered from an early-February selloff, Milligan said, noting tech had been "the leading light of US and Asian equity markets for over a year". Names sensitive to higher rates such as utilities.SPLRCU, down 0.39 percent, and real estate.SPLRCR, off 0.93 percent, were under pressure.

Crude oil hit a six-week high after a surprise decline in USA inventories, strong compliance on OPEC production cuts, and persistent concern related to the Iran nuclear deal.

World shares fell on Wednesday and the United States dollar eased off three-week highs as markets awaited a likely increase in USA interest rates and guidance on how many more to expect for this year.

One worry among equity investors is faster rate hikes could dent the appeal of stocks relative to bonds as fixed income securities become less pricey than they've been in the low-rate era. Cambridge Analytica worked on Facebook ads with President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016.

The world's financial leaders were seeking to clearly endorse free trade and renounce protectionism amid concern that US tariffs on steel and aluminum and looming actions against China could trigger a trade war that would hurt global growth.

Benchmark 10-year note yields increased to 2.936 percent, the highest since March 12, before retracing to 2.894 percent.

Fears of a trade war have also weighed on commodity prices, though tensions in the Middle East supported oil, lifting Brent futures nearly half a percent. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained $1.63, or 2.6 percent, to settle at $65.17, their highest since February 2.

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