United States stocks rebound, Facebook continues to tumble

22 March, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 1.23 percent at 24,639.94 and fell below its 100-day moving average

USA stocks opened little changed on Wednesday as traders moved cautiously ahead of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike, while a drop in Facebook Inc's shares on privacy concerns again weighed on the technology sector.

That has left investors on edge as the Federal Reserve prepares to raise USA rates for the first time this year after a two-day policy meeting.

But in addition to rising interest rates by 25 basis points, the market will also expect central bank guidelines to raise interest rates three times this year or tighten monetary policy further.

Reuters reported last week that President Donald Trump could target up to $60 billion in imports from China.

US stocks rebounded after Monday's tech sell-off, but Facebook continued to tumble amid a data scandal.

Those expectations had sent the dollar to nearly three-week highs on Tuesday, but it eased back a quarter percent against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, having lost almost half a percent this month.

Benchmark 10-year note yields increased to 2.936 percent, the highest since March 12, before retracing to 2.894 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 100 points, or 0.4%, to 24,717.

"So far, we have seen low-level (trade) skirmishes, which are not material enough to affect the world economy", said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

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The Fed raised interest rates and forecast at least two more hikes for 2018, signaling growing confidence that USA tax cuts and government spending will boost the economy and inflation and lead to more aggressive future tightening.

Concerns over the imposition of US trade tariffs on metals and against China continue to weigh on financial markets.

"But if we see retaliation, and significant trade disruptions, it's a different order or magnitude, could begin to affect global growth forecasts".

Crude oil prices jumped more than 2 percent to $63 per barrel.

Crude oil hit a six-week high after a surprise decline in USA inventories, strong compliance on OPEC production cuts, and persistent concern related to the Iran nuclear deal.

Facebook shares have lost about 9 percent in just two days, and hurt shares of other social media companies such as Twitter and Snap Inc as the issue raised broader questions about consumer privacy and whether tougher regulation is on the horizon.

The Nasdaq composite dropped 1.8 percent as Facebook dropped 6.8 percent. Its shares were down 1.5 percent in premarket trading, on track for its third day of losses amid uproar over the alleged misuse of users' data.

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