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US stocks mixed as tech shares battered in anticipation of interest rate hikes

Andrew Kelly/Reuters

  • US stocks were mixed Wednesday as tech shares declined amid a surge in interest rates.
  • The 10-Year US Treasury yield traded near 1.66%, well above its year-end level of about 1.50%.
  • Anticipation is growing among investors that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates in March.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks opened mixed on Wednesday, with tech shares declining amid a surge in interest rates and growing anticipation of a potential Fed rate hike in March.

The 10-Year US Treasury yield traded near 1.66% early Wednesday, well above its year-end level of about 1.50%. Meanwhile, the probability of a interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve at its late-March meeting surged to 63% on Tuesday, more than double its 27% level seen last month.

As yields rise, fast-growing tech stocks are seeing the most volatility. This risk-off environment for the sector is best illustrated by Ark Invest’s flagship ETF, which fell as much as 7% in Tuesday’s trading session, and was down an additional 1% in early Wednesday trades.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Wednesday:

  • S&P 500: 4,783.52, down 0.21%
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: 36,821.46, up 0.06% (21.81 points)
  • Nasdaq Composite: 15,491.67, down 0.84%

The mixed open came despite strong employment figures. Private-sector job growth data from ADP showed December saw 807,000 positions filled, more than double estimates of 375,000, and well ahead of November’s gain of 505,000. The leisure and hospitality industries led the job growth. 

Meanwhile, Charlie Munger’s Daily Journal continues to buy more Alibaba stock despite a sharp decline in 2021. The firm doubled its Alibaba stake last quarter, making up 28% of the Daily Journal’s portfolio as of December 31. 

Billionaire investor Jeff Gundlach warned against investing in China, citing the possibility of assets being confiscated by the government. Harsh regulatory crackdowns in 2021 by authorities in Beijing have led to headaches for public-listed companies like Didi and Alibaba, among others. 

Robinhood said in a blog post Tuesday that it’s introducing a feature called First Trade Recommendations to “help new investors begin their financial journey.”

West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose as much as 1.05% to $77.80 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, jumped as much as 1.04% to $80.83 per barrel.

Gold rose as much as 0.69% to $1,827.10 per ounce. 

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