U.S. Stocks Finish Volatile Session With Gains

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China shares fall on worries that further Covid-19 lockdowns could exacerbate supply-chain disruptions

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The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 165.56 points, or 1.3%, to 13004.85. Twitter shares rose 5.7% after the social-media company accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover deal.

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All three indexes had opened lower after Chinese shares suffered their worst selloff in more than two years as Beijing sticks to its zero-Covid strategy while faced with increasing cases in major cities. Oil prices fell, at one point dipping below $100 a barrel, before staging an afternoon rally.

A decline in bond yields signaled to investors that the Federal Reserve may not move to raise interest rates as aggressively as feared, investors said.

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“Rates had been weighing against the market,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of Cresset Capital. “Now what we’re seeing is a reversal of that trend.”

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked down to 2.825% Monday from 2.905% Friday as investors sought safer assets to hold. Yields and prices move inversely.

“I think a lot of growth stocks have been punished too severely,” said Brian Price, head of investment management for Commonwealth Financial Network. “Part of what we’re seeing may be a reversal of that. Longer-term rates have just moved so far.

“The market is stepping back and assessing if they should have moved so fast. And falling interest rates tend to help growth stocks.”

Twitter rose $2.77 to $51.70. Microsoft climbed $6.69, or 2.4%, to $280.72, while Google parent Alphabet added $68.77, or 2.9%, to close at $2,461.48

Meanwhile, the S&P 500’s energy sector was the biggest decliner, falling 3.3%. Schlumberger fell $2.96, or 7.1%, to $38.69. Halliburton dropped $2.36, or 6.3%, to $35.33. APA,

Apache’s parent company, slipped $1.63, or 4%, $39.08.

Investors are worried that strict policies China has in place to combat Covid-19 will further disrupt global supply chains. But the extended lockdowns, and a slowdown in China’s economy, could also crimp global demand for oil, investors said.

The Shanghai Composite and CSI 300 indexes fell 5.1% and 4.9%, respectively. Those were the largest single-day percentage declines for both benchmarks since February 2020, in the early days of the pandemic.

The offshore yuan fell about 1% to trade at about 6.59 per dollar. That was the lowest since November 2020, according to FactSet. The decline built on a selloff last week that ended months of relative stability.

“The problem with inflation is it can get embedded and we see inflation getting quite sticky,” said Sebastian Mackay, a multiasset fund manager at Invesco. “What we’re seeing is a combination of the war in Ukraine and the lockdown in China causing supply issues.”

Limitation of movement in China also could sap demand for oil. Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, fell 4.1% to $102.32 a barrel. Oil prices still remain near historically high levels due to concerns about disruptions to energy markets from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In other corporate news, shares of Coca-Cola rose 69 cents, or 1.1%, to $65.94. The company said it logged higher sales for the latest quarter as demand held up in the face of price increases. Advanced Micro Devices added $2.55, or 2.9%, to $90.69 after a Raymond James analyst lifted his rating on the chip maker’s shares.

Elevated inflation has caused the Federal Reserve to increase efforts to combat it. Last week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that the central bank is ready to tighten monetary policy more quickly and indicated that it was likely to raise interest rates by a half-percentage point at its meeting in May.

Money managers are worried that the Fed’s aggressive interest-rate increases could slow economic growth or even tip the economy into recession. This could lead to a situation in which the Fed has to raise interest rates in the short term but cut them in the long term, Mr. Mackay said.

On Monday, the Cboe Volatility Index—Wall Street’s so-called fear gauge, also known as the VIX—approached its highest level since mid-March before retreating to 27.02.

Gold futures fell 2% to $1,893.20 a troy ounce. While gold is historically seen as an inflation hedge, it pays no yield, making it less attractive than government bonds in a time of rising interest rates. The cost of buying gold, which is denominated in dollars, is also more expensive for foreign investors when the dollar strengthens.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 1.8%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 1.8%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 contracted 1.9%.

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at [email protected] and Justin Baer at [email protected]

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Credit: www.Businesshala.com /

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