Warning Signs Suggest This Year’S Wall Street Rally Is On Shaky Legs


(MENAFN- IANS) New York, Sep 30 (IANS) Stocks rebounded this year after a bruising 2022, as artificial intelligence excitement led investors to fuel a powerful tech-driven surge. Seemingly abating inflation also raised hopes on Wall Street that the federal Reserve would soon curb its interest rate hiking cycle, helping equities edge higher, media reports said.

Now, markets aren't looking so picturesque. The economy's resilience against numerous interest rate hikes, a tick up in inflation data this month, and the Fed's indication that it could raise rates once more this year and keep them higher for longer than expected has started to chip away at the market's gains, CNN reported.

While the benchmark S&P 500 index is not in correction territory, defined in this case as a 10 per cent fall from its most recent peak on July 31, that means stocks have more room to fall, says Liz Young, head of investment strategy at SoFi.

"There's more risk to the downside, at least in the near term," said Young, CNN reported.

While shares of tech behemoths have led the market's surge this year, the rally had begun to broaden out in early summer.

But it's since narrowed over the past few months. The percentage of stocks in the S&P 500 index trading above their 200-day moving averages, a commonly watched indicator of market breadth, fell this week to its lowest level since March.

A narrow rally doesn't bode well for the market's health, since having just a small share of stocks holding it up means that it's more susceptible to a downturn. This year, shares of tech giants have been responsible for the lion's share of the market's run - but even those have taken a hit in recent weeks. Nvidia shares have tumbled roughly 13 per cent this month, Apple shed 9 per cent and Tesla and Microsoft lost 4 per cent, CNN reported.

Yields have surged in recent weeks as investors assess the state of the economy and the Fed's higher-for-longer signal. While yields receded somewhat on Thursday, they remain near a decade high. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury note was at 4.597 per cent, down from 4.626 per cent the day before, which marked the highest close since October 2007.

High yields often mean bad news for stocks, since investors tend to gravitate toward virtually risk-free Treasury bonds when they offer high returns over stocks, CNN reported.

Oil prices have rallied this summer, as several output cuts announced by OPEC+ have started to take hold on markets. US crude prices on Wednesday climbed to their highest level since last year, when Russia's invasion of Ukraine sparked fears about a supply constraint and sent oil prices skyrocketing. While prices dipped on Thursday, they remain elevated and within striking distance of $100 a barrel, CNN reported.

--IANS

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