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How major United States stock indexes fared on Wednesday

02 February 2018, 09:09 | Lionel James

Michael Milano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday Jan. 31. Richard Drew AP

Michael Milano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday Jan. 31. Richard Drew  AP

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 362.59 points, or 1.37 percent, to 26,076.89, the S&P 500 lost 31.1 points, or 1.09 percent, to 2,822.43 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 64.02 points, or 0.86 percent, to 7,402.48.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.38 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,823.81.

"We suspect that signs of an economic slowdown will become apparent later this year, setting the stage for a significant correction in the S&P 500 before the end of 2019", he says. Concerns are starting to enter the market that inflation could be catching up and higher interest rates could pour cold water on the bull run.

Today, nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the telecommunications index's 1.6 per cent fall leading the decliners.

Health-related shares were broadly lower, with health insurers UnitedHealth Group losing 4.4 percent and Cigna 7.2 percent. Apples shares were last down 1.8 percent at $168.36.

If yields continue to rise then stocks should drift sideways-to-lower on below average volume due to the Trump speech.

The selloff set traders in the options market fretting about a near-term shock to equities and the Cboe Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market gyrations, closed up 0.95 points at 14.79, its highest close since August 17.

"I would expect these kinds of dips that we've seen over the past couple of days would be buying opportunities", said Shannon Saccocia, chief investment strategist at Boston Private.

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The Fed started its two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday.

Bond yields also rose, reflecting last year's three United States interest rate hikes.

The dollar reversed Monday's gains.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.1 per cent as the yen eased a little, while South Korea notched a record.

US President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address later on Tuesday will be monitored for his comments on a $1.7 trillion infrastructure spending plan and on trade. They had risen about 2 percent premarket, aiming for their 2002 highs, after the company's strong results and forecast.

Harley-Davidson Inc closed down 8.0 percent after announcing it would close a Kansas City plant in the face of declining shipments.

Among stocks, Advanced Micro Devices was up 3.2 percent a day after the chipmaker's fourth-quarter results handily topped forecasts. Boeing, easily the best Dow stock since the start of 2017, soared 5% after reporting record annual profits.

On Monday the Dow closed 177 points down - its worst day since September.



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