Wall Street slumps as rising yields crank up the pressure

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks slumped Monday after higher yields in the bond market caused by a strong U.S. economy cranked up the pressure on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 tumbled 1.2%, following up on its 1.6% loss from last week, which was its worst since October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 248 points, or 0.7%, and the Nasdaq composite slumped 1.8%.

Stocks had been solidly higher earlier in the day, as oil prices eased with hopes that international efforts to calm escalating tensions in the Middle East may help. But Treasury yields also spurted upward following the latest report on the U.S. economy to blow past expectations.

The economy and financial markets are in an awkward phase where such strength raises hopes for growing profits at companies but also hurts prospects for easier interest rates from the Federal Reserve. They’re the two main levers that set stock prices, and they’re simultaneously yanking Wall Street in different directions.

Traders want lower interest rates, which can give the overall economy a boost, and much of the U.S. stock market’s run to records recently was built on expectations for cuts.


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