US stocks tick down amid rate hike concerns

By on March 3, 2017


US stocks retreated record highs Thursday, as worries about a March rate hike weighed on investor sentiment.  (Photo by Allan Ajifo [CC BY 2.0 (Photo By Allan Ajifo [CC BY 2.0)
US stocks retreated record highs Thursday, as worries about a March rate hike weighed on investor sentiment. (Photo by Allan Ajifo [CC BY 2.0 (Photo By Allan Ajifo [CC BY 2.0)
NEW YORK—US stocks retreated record highs Thursday, as worries about a March rate hike weighed on investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 112.58 points, or 0.53 percent, to 21,002.97. The S&P 500 lost 14.04 points, or 0.59 percent, to 2,381.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 42.81 points, or 0.73 percent, to 5,861.22.

Investors became cautious after recent sharp increases, with major indexes logging their biggest gain in months on Wednesday. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq has their largest one-day rally since Nov. 7, while the Dow posted its best advance since December.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard — a known dove in the central bank’s monetary policy committee — reportedly said Wednesday evening that the Federal Reserve could raise rates “soon,” citing an improved global economy.

Market expectations for a March rate hike were around 77 percent, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

In corporate news, Snap made its trading debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, notching the largest technology initial public offering since Alibaba. At the close, shares of Snap spiked 44.00 percent to USD24.48 apiece.

On the economic front, in the week ending Feb. 25 the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 223,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the US Labor Department said Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 234,250, a decrease of 6,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 14, 1973 when it was 232,750.