Stocks fall after worst month since 2020

U.S. stocks fell in early trading, signaling market turmoil could drag on into May after major indexes recorded their worst month since the start of the pandemic.

The S&P 500 fell 0.6% after the broad index closed 3.6% on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.8%.

Investors await Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy meeting for more signals on the pace of monetary tightening, with markets pricing in another rate hike to counter the highest inflation in decades. The war in Ukraine and a Covid-19 outbreak in China threaten to further tighten supply chains and drive up prices further.

“It’s a choppy and jittery market,” said Sebastien Galy, macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management..

NDA.FI -1.89%

“It’s been fed liquidity for a long time and that’s been priced into expectations for equities,” he said, a situation that is changing as central banks tighten monetary policy.

The S&P 500 fell 8.8% and Dow industrials fell nearly 5% in April, the worst monthly performance since March 2020. The Nasdaq Composite fell more than 13% last month, its worst performance since October 2008. Technology stocks are particularly upside sensitive. interest rate.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose slightly to 2.962% from 2.885% on Friday, up for a fourth straight trading session. The US dollar held onto its recent gains, with the WSJ Dollar Index rising another 0.1% after its biggest monthly jump in a decade.

Expedia and Clorox CLX 0.33%

are expected to release their results on Monday after markets close. Pfizer,



Starbucks and Lyft are scheduled for Tuesday, and Moderna,

Marriott International and Uber on Wednesday. Kellogg and Apollo Global Management are scheduled for Thursday.

Earnings season has been reasonably strong so far, with more than 80% of companies reporting to date beating analysts’ expectations, according to Refinitiv. Shares fell last month despite this on jitters about the coming months, investors said.

In individual stocks, Moody’s shares fell 8% after the ratings firm said its profits fell by about a third as costs rose.

Oil prices have fallen. Global benchmark Brent fell 2.7% to trade at $104.25 a barrel. European Union officials are working on a proposal to sanction Russian energy. Analysts at Nordic bank SEB say some doubt it will pass because it requires the unanimous backing of EU members, many of whom depend on Russian energy. A benchmark for natural gas in Western Europe fell 3%.

Traders are also monitoring lockdowns in China and awaiting a meeting of the OPEC+ alliance later this week, where members are expected to discuss its supply deal.

The pancontinental Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 1.4%. Data releases showed German retail sales fell in March as economists expected an increase and consumer confidence in the EU fell more than expected. Wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems fell 7% after slashing its full-year forecast and reporting a bigger-than-expected loss on asset writedowns in Russia and Ukraine. The UK stock market was closed for a holiday.

In Asia, most major benchmarks fell slightly. The South Korean Kospi fell 0.3% and the Japanese Nikkei 225 fell 0.1%. Markets in China and Hong Kong were closed for the Labor Day holiday.

Surveys of purchasing managers in manufacturing in the United States in April are due to be released by the ISM at 10 a.m.

Write to Anna Hirtenstein at [email protected]

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