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U.S. stocks fell sharply Tuesday morning as investors geared up for a holiday-shortened week rife with quarterly earnings reports from companies across all three major indexes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 500 points and the tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 1.7% as Wall Street continued to weigh the likelihood of sooner-than-expected interest rate hikes. The S&P 500 also edged lower, down more than 1%. Meanwhile, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose to its highest level in two years — up to 1.818%
Wall Street was closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day but will resume trading Tuesday amid a flurry of corporate results unveiled ahead of the session: Goldman Sachs (GS), PNC Bank (PNC) and Bank of New York Mellon (BK) released earnings reports for the last three months of 2021 before market open.
Goldman Sachs (GS) reported fourth-quarter earnings that fell below analyst expectations — reflecting a decline in profit for the last three months of the year due to weakness in its trading arm, adding to a lackluster lineup of recent bank results.
With earnings season in high gear, investors will set their focus on company profits and other corporate metrics, shifting away — at least temporarily — from worries around the Federal Reserve’s tightening of monetary policy and economic uncertainty that have rattled stocks in recent weeks.
“I think a lot of rationality tends to come back around earnings season,” OANDA market analyst Craig Erlam told Yahoo Finance Live. “That’s when people will start to get a better grasp, or at least start to maybe look at markets through a more rational lens, and we could start to see a bit of normality return for the markets.”
Worries over sooner-than-expected interest rate increases have weighed on equity markets in 2022 so far. The S&P 500 is down 2.79% year-to-date, while the Dow has lost 1.84%. The Nasdaq has shed a whopping 5.93% since the start of this year, with more than one-third of companies in the index at least 50% from their 52-week highs, according to Bloomberg data.
Still, the outlook for 2022 remains positive among strategists who anticipate that although the year is unlikely to match the blockbuster returns of 2021, stocks are in good shape for solid returns ahead.
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