US STOCKS fell yesterday as a stronger dollar weighed on oil and other commodity prices, sending energy and materials sectors lower.
The greenback rose after a sharp decline on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve appeared to be more dovish than expected even as it opened the door for a Fed funds rate hike as soon as in June. US stocks rose more than one per cent on Wednesday after the Fed statement.
WTI crude fell 1.9 per cent and Brent dropped 2.6 per cent as the dollar strengthened, and on concerns over excess supply. The S&P 500 energy index fell 1.7 per cent. “The forward path in interest rates is going to be slower than previously expected. The market celebrated that yesterday, and now it’s wondering what comes next,” said Kevin Caron, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 117.16 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 17,959.03, the S&P 500 lost 10.23 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 2,089.27 and the Nasdaq Composite added 9.55 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 4,992.38.
Biotech stocks helped buoy the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500’s healthcare sector.
Regeneron added 2.9 per cent to $486.02 and Biogen rose 1.3 per cent to $433.65 after Credit Suisse upped its price target on the stock to $500 from $400. The Nasdaq biotech index rose 1.9 per cent.
Guess shares surged 16 per cent to $19.42. Quarterly profit beat analyst estimates as the apparel retailer’s expenses declined and online business grew.