US STOCKS ended lower for a second session yesterday as worries increased about the timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike and dollar strength further dampened the outlook for US corporate earnings.
The move followed the S&P 500’s biggest one-day decline in two months in the previous session, which surpassed a sell-off of similar magnitude on Friday.
Friday’s stronger-than-expected jobs report is largely behind the recent rate jitters, solidifying views the Fed could raise rates as early as June.
The S&P 500 is now off 3.6 per cent from its 2 March record closing high and is down 0.9 per cent for the year so far.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 27.55 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 17,635.39, the S&P 500 lost 3.92 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 2,040.24 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 9.85 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 4,849.94.
The rate concerns have helped push up the dollar, as well, which has added to worries the currency will continue to weigh on US multinationals’ earnings.
“The big story is the dollar, and it continues to strengthen. That is a double-edged kind of development in that it will lead to more investor interest in the United States, but on the other hand it hampers the ability of multinationals to compete overseas,” said John Carey, of Pioneer Investment Management in Boston.
Shares of Tyson Foods were down 5.6 per cent at $37.55 and Pilgrims Pride dropped 4.4 per cent. The US Department of Agriculture confirmed yesterday the discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Arkansas.