Stocks, Futures Fall as Treasury Yields Surge: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Most stocks fell Tuesday amid a jump in global bond yields as investors girded for the removal of central bank support to quell high inflation.

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Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index declined, with energy the only sector to advance. U.S. equity futures slipped before the market reopens later from a holiday. Asian shares struggled.

Treasuries dropped across the curve, pushing two-year and 10-year yields up to levels last seen before the pandemic roiled markets. Even German debt — famed for ultra-low rates — suffered from the prospect of tighter policy, with benchmark yields on the verge of a positive reading for the first time since early 2019.

Pressure is growing for central banks to act more quickly to contain price pressures, which are being stoked in part by the rally in oil that’s taken Brent crude to the highest in seven years. Easing concerns about the impact of the omicron virus strain on demand, together with shrinking oil inventories are contributing to forecasts of $100 per barrel crude later this year.

Technology shares led the retreat in Europe as Nasdaq futures signaled more pain for the battered sector. Higher interest rates mean a bigger discount for the present value of future profits, hurting growth stocks with the highest valuations, such as technology, and boosting cheap or so-called value shares.

Market participants are now waiting for the earnings season to gauge whether companies can continue delivering robust profits despite higher costs and challenges from omicron. JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategists contend that global corporate earnings will deliver significant beats this year.

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“With rates biased higher over the coming months, investors should be prepared for parts of the tech sector to again be challenged,” Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, wrote in a note to investors. “Although rising bond yields are challenging the entire tech sector, investors must distinguish between profitless names that are a long way from demonstrating healthy earning power and mega-cap tech…

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