Tech Stocks Fall as Powell Sticks to Hawkish Cues: Markets Wrap

US stocks slid with bonds as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that higher rates would be needed to combat inflation, thwarting bets that the US central bank was nearing the end of its tightening cycle.

(Bloomberg) — US stocks slid with bonds as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that higher rates would be needed to combat inflation, thwarting bets that the US central bank was nearing the end of its tightening cycle.

The Nasdaq 100 tumbled over 1% as AI names weakened with Nvidia Corp. dropping 2.7%. The tech-heavy benchmark extended its slide into a third day, if the losses hold it will be the longest such losing streak since early May. FedEx Corp. tumbled after the economic bellwether’s outlook fell short of analyst consensus estimates on weakened demand. Two-year Treasury yields, considered the most sensitive to interest rates, rose to 4.7%.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his warning that higher rates are needed to combat inflation. “We will continue to make our decisions meeting by meeting, based on the totality of incoming data and their implications for the outlook for economic activity and inflation, as well as the balance of risks,” he said in prepared remarks for his semi-annual report to Congress.

Policymakers kept interest rates unchanged at their meeting last week, their forecasts imply around two additional quarter-point rate hikes or one half-point increase. Since then, money markets have been attaching roughly 80% odds to a quarter percentage point hike in July.

“The Fed is content to champion the no cuts narrative as the primary messaging,” Ian Lyngen, head of US rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets wrote in a note. “Keeping July and September as live meetings is an effective way of distracting investors from their prior preoccupation with pricing in rate cuts by year end.”

The second-quarter stock rally has hit a wall as investors lose their enthusiasm amid crowded bullish positioning, narrow breadth, stretched valuations, and hawkish Fed signals. 

“The positioning and the chasing is no longer likely to be the big tailwind that it was for the last six or seven weeks. That’s why, things go parabolic, they don’t do so in perpetuity,” Anastasia Amoroso, chief investment strategist at iCapital, told Bloomberg Television’s The Open on Wednesday. 

“If the right catalyst comes along, they tend to correct, at least partially. And I think we’re looking at a catalyst this week, which is potentially hawkish Fed Chair Powell,” she said.

Wall Street is paying close attention to yields on the 10-year note — a drop in price is viewed as a sign of investor confidence in the economy — which reached its steepest inversion against the two-year note since the 1980s in March. 

If, “the 10-year starts to rise because all of the sudden the inflation expectations start to become more entrenched, that would certainty cause a problem for risk assets,” Amoroso said.

“When I look at 10-year Treasuries, it’s not high enough yet. I’m surprised the yield curve hasn’t bear steepened if they want to challenge the Fed,” Brian Weinstein, head of fixed income at Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc., said on The Open. “Until we get higher yields on the longer part of the curve, I think people continue to buy riskier assets.”

Elsewhere, crude climbed above $72 a barrel and Bitcoin rallied toward $30,000.

Key events this week:

  • Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee speaks, Wednesday
  • Eurozone consumer confidence, Thursday
  • Rate decisions in UK, Switzerland, Indonesia, Norway, Mexico, Philippines, Turkey, Thursday
  • US Conference Board leading index, initial jobless claims, current account, existing home sales, Thursday
  • Fed’s Powell delivers testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Thursday
  • Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester speaks Thursday
  • Eurozone S&P Global Eurozone Manufacturing PMI, S&P Global Eurozone Services PMI, Friday
  • Japan CPI, Friday
  • US S&P Global Manufacturing PMI, Friday
  • St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:  


  • The S&P 500 fell 0.4% as of 11:45 a.m. New York time
  • The Nasdaq 100 fell 1.2%
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed
  • The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%
  • The MSCI World index fell 0.4%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
  • The euro rose 0.3% to $1.0952
  • The British pound fell 0.3% to $1.2732
  • The Japanese yen fell 0.4% to 142.07 per dollar


  • Bitcoin rose 5.8% to $29,801.36
  • Ether rose 3.5% to $1,846.66


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries advanced six basis points to 3.78%
  • Germany’s 10-year yield advanced three basis points to 2.43%
  • Britain’s 10-year yield advanced seven basis points to 4.40%


  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2% to $72.61 a barrel
  • Gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,942.10 an ounce

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

–With assistance from Cecile Gutscher and Denitsa Tsekova.

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