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US stocks move solidly lower, led by declines in energy shares as oil prices sink

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NEW YORK — Stocks moved lower in mid-morning trading Monday as oil prices fell and investors reacted to signs that the Federal Reserve was still on pace to raise interest rates in September. It sets up another volatile week on Wall Street, which has been battered this month.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 135 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,505 as of 11 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 17 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,972 and the Nasdaq composite lost 34 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,794.

FED PLANS: Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said over the weekend that policymakers still had a "pretty strong case" for raising rates in September. That ran counter to recent market sentiment that China's economic slowdown and global market volatility might prompt the nation's central bank to wait. Speaking at the Fed's annual gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fischer emphasized he was not saying what action the Fed might take at its September meeting, but analysts took his comments to mean he saw the economy moving close to satisfying the Fed's conditions for a hike. The Fed has kept rates ultra-low since the 2008 financial crisis.

GO AWAY AUGUST: It's been a brutal month for investors. On the last the last trading day of August, the S&P 500 is down 6.2 percent for the month, its worst loss since May 2012. Last week the S&P 500 index briefly entered a "correction," defined as a drop of 10 percent or more from a recent peak.

PHOTO: In this Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, photo, pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks mostly fell on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, after a U.S. Federal Reserve official suggested a September interest rate hike still was possible and weak Japanese factory activity provided more evidence of a sluggish global economy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
In this Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, photo, pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks mostly fell on Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, after a U.S. Federal Reserve official suggested a September interest rate hike still was possible and weak Japanese factory activity provided more evidence of a sluggish global economy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Volatility has also risen sharply. The VIX, Wall Street's so-called fear gauge, soared 132 percent this month, the largest monthly jump the index has ever had.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 38 cents to $44.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price of oil recovered last week after a two-month decline. Energy stocks fell. Exxon Mobil and Chevron were among the biggest decliners in the Dow average. Noble Energy slumped 5 percent.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets had another bumpy day. The Shanghai Composite Index fell as much as 2.6 percent, but recovered to close 0.8 percent lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng also spent most of the day in the red before closing up 0.3 percent. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 1.3 percent.

European stocks fell broadly. Germany's DAX lost 1 percent and France's CAC-40 lost 1 percent. U.K.'s markets were closed for a holiday.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: U.S. government bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.17 percent from 2.18 percent late Friday. The dollar declined to 121.26 yen from 121.38 yen on Friday. The euro rose to $1.120 from $1.1180.

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