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U.S. stock futures mostly flat after Nasdaq tumbles in rate induced sell-off

Meric Greenbaum, Designated Market Maker IMC financial looks up at the board before the opening bell right before trading halted on the New York Stock Exchange on March 9, 2020 in New York.

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Imgaes

U.S. stock futures were mostly flat Tuesday night after the Nasdaq plummeted in its worst day since March as a spike in bond yields sent stocks tumbling.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 78 points, or 0.23%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.16% and 0.08%, respectively.

Shares of the semiconductor company Micron fell more than 4% in extended trading after it reported earnings and revenue outlook for the first quarter of 2022 that missed consensus estimates.

In regular trading, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.83% to 14,546.68 for its worst day since March. The S&P 500 shed 2.04% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 569.38 points, or 1.63%.

The Dow and S&P are down 3% for September. The Nasdaq is down more than 4.5%.

Stocks across industries slid as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield touched a high of 1.567% Tuesday. Tech stocks led the broader markets lower with Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet losing more than 3%. Amazon fell more than 2%. Rising bond yields hurt growth stocks, including tech stocks, because they lower the relative value of future earnings. The tech-heavy Nasdaq hit its 10th down day in the past 15 sessions.

“Some may believe that sentiment has become too ebullient which contrarians believe sets the stage for a market pullback like we’re seeing today,” said Brian Price, head of investment management for Commonwealth Financial Network. “If interest rate increases moderate from here on the back of declining inflation expectations, then it wouldn’t surprise me to see the market resume its march higher as we move into the fourth quarter.”

The debt ceiling debate in Washington also weighed on equities, as well as continued concern about supply chain issues and rising consumer prices. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday to the Senate Banking Committee that inflation could persist longer than expected as a result of supply chain issues and reopening pressures.

“Today’s interest rate induced sell-off is a reminder of how impactful monetary stimulus has been with the Fed signaling a swift removal of the emergency stimulus measures is coming soon,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management. “This is an uncomfortable period for market participants as the removal of Fed support will be underway soon and equity markets will have to learn how to stand on their own again. However, we should be reminded that it is unlikely the Fed would move forward with tapering bond purchases if they didn’t think the economy was ready.”

Pending home sales data is due out on Wednesday.