Pre-Fed Jitters Lead To Sharp Pullback On Wall Street

Following the advance seen going into the close of Monday’s session, stocks showed a notable move back to the downside during trading on Tuesday. With the pullback on the day, the major averages fell to their lowest closing levels in two months.

The major averages climbed off their lows of the session in late-day trading but remained firmly negative. The Dow tumbled 313.45 points or 1.0 percent to 30,706.23, the Nasdaq slumped 109.97 points or 1.0 percent to 11,425.05 and the S&P 500 dove 43.96 points or 1.1 percent to 3,855.93.

The weakness on Wall Street came as traders seemed jittery ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision on Wednesday.

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points, although some see an outside chance for a 100 basis point rate hike.

CME Group’s FedWatch Tool is currently indicating an 84.0 percent chance of a 75 basis points rate hike and a 16.0 percent chance of a 100 basis point rate hike.

Treasury yields saw further upside ahead of the Fed announcement, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note jumping to a new eleven-year high.

Several of other major central banks around the world are also scheduled to announce their latest monetary policy decisions this week, including the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan.

A notable drop by shares of Ford (F) also weighed on Wall Street, with the auto giant plunging by 12.3 percent to its lowest closing level in almost two months,

The pullback by Ford comes after the company warned inflation-related supplier costs during the third quarter will run about $1.0 billion higher than originally expected.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report showing an unexpected spike in new residential construction in the U.S. in the month of August, although the report also showed a steeper than expected slump in building permits.

Sector News

Gold stocks turned in some of the market’s worst performances on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 3.0 percent.

The sell-off by gold stocks came amid a modest decrease by the price of the precious metal, as gold for December delivery slipped $7.10 to $1,671.10 an ounce.

Interest rate-sensitive housing and commercial real estate stocks also moved sharply lower, with the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index and the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index both tumbling by 2.5 percent.

A notable decrease by the price of crude oil also contributed to substantial weakness among oil service stocks, resulting in a 2.5 percent plunge by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index.

Transportation, steel and computer hardware stocks also showed notable moves to the downside, reflecting broad based weakness on Wall Street.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Tuesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index rose by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slid by 0.6 percent, the German DAX Index slumped by 1.0 percent and the French CAC 40 Index tumbled by 1.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries climbed well off their lows of the session but remained firmly negative. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 8.1 basis points to an eleven-year closing high of 3.571 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Wednesday is likely to be driven by reaction to the Fed’s interest rate decision as well as the accompanying statement.

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