Stock Market Today: Wall Street Holds Up As Global Stocks Tumble, Bitcoin Falls

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Wall Street was rocked on Wednesday by minutes of a meeting of the Fed’s monetary policy body.

Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

Stocks were leveling off after a massive selloff in the last session, although stocks around the world fell to follow Wall Street’s performance on Wednesday.

Future for the


Dow Jones Industrial Average

showed an open less than 20 points or 0.1% higher, after the index fell 392 points on Wednesday to close at 36,407. The widest


S&P 500

had to start just below zero, while futures contracts for the


Nasdaq

reported an open decline of 0.3%. The tech-heavy index took the brunt of the market rout on Wednesday, plunging 3.3%, making it the worst three-day start to a calendar year since 2008.

Investors’ nerves were rattled on Wednesday by the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s December meeting suggesting a hawkish turn for the Federal Reserve. The minutes show that the central bank’s monetary policy body is considering earlier and faster increases in interest rates and an earlier start to policy tightening thanks to the normalization of its massive balance sheet.

Overseas markets were closed ahead of the release of the minutes, so the response from traders in Europe and Asia was delayed until Thursday. that of Tokyo


Nikkei 225,

which analysts say is closely correlated with the Nasdaq, fell 2.9%. The pan-European


Stoxx 600

was 1.2% lower.

“The December FOMC minutes last night broke the calm that started the year in financial markets,” said Jim Reid, strategist at


German bank

UK

“The change in sentiment has come against a backdrop of continued rising sovereign bond yields,” added Reid. “There are a few other big questions outstanding, including how many rate hikes would take place before the quantitative tightening begins and how Treasury holdings and mortgage-backed securities would be treated during the runoff.”

The Fed minutes came after a rally in recent days amid positive signs for the US economy, which was echoed by rising Treasury yields. The yield on the US 10-year benchmark note rose again on Thursday to nearly 1.73%; it started the week at 1.54%.

The bond movement exacerbated a sell-off in tech stocks, as higher yields tend to discount the present value of future cash flows; the valuations of many tech companies are based on the notion of profit in the years to come.

Bitcoin
and other cryptocurrencies continued to feel the pressure when the main digital asset was sold after the Fed minutes were released. Bitcoin fell more than 9% to less than $ 42,700, according to price data from CoinDesk.

Write to Jack Denton at [email protected]

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