Wall Street’s main indexes have fallen, with investors fretting about the possibility of a recession as central banks across the world take aggressive actions to stem a surge in inflation.
US stocks have been under relentless selling pressure this year, with the benchmark S&P 500 index recording its steepest first-half percentage drop since 1970, as the Federal Reserve moves away from easy-money policy by raising borrowing costs.
Investors are now waiting for minutes from the Fed’s meeting in June on Wednesday as they brace for another 75 basis point hike at the end of the month.
Traders are also keeping a watch on economic data and company commentaries for signs of peaking inflation and cooling economic growth as regular trading commenced after a long weekend and with the earnings season just weeks away.
“Recession concerns are dominating the market,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.
“The real question is if the economy is slowing, then by how much will second-quarter earnings or guidance disappoint. People are waiting until they get some news that could serve as a catalyst.”
Data showed new orders for US-manufactured goods increased more than expected in May, showing demand for products remains strong even as the Fed seeks to cool the economy.
Separately, business growth across the euro zone slowed further in June and European natural gas prices surged again, reigniting worries of a recession in the bloc.
Benchmark US Treasury yields tumbled on Tuesday and a key part of the yield curve inverted for the first time in three weeks as economic growth concerns dented risk appetite and increased demand for the safe haven US debt.
Amazon.com, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc – mega-cap growth stocks seen as sensitive to interest rates – fell between 0.9 per cent and 1.6 per cent.
In early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 604.88 points, or 1.95 per cent, at 30,492.38, the S&P 500 was down 75.15 points, or 1.96 per cent, at 3,750.18 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 201.56 points, or 1.81 per cent, at 10,926.29.
Shares of Tesla Inc fell 3.9 per cent as the company’s second-quarter electric vehicle deliveries fell compared with the previous quarter due to supply-chain challenges.
Shares of Warner Bros Discovery Inc dropped 3.6 per cent after reports of the media and streaming firm’s unit HBO Max halting production of original shows in Europe.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 6.76-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 3.49-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded one new 52-week high and 47 new lows while the Nasdaq recorded five new highs and 207 new lows.