Wall Street stocks ended mixed on Friday, with battered technology shares recovering some declines amid encouraging data, though fears of rising interest rates caused investors to take fright, amid news of the U.S. expanding the list of suspended speculative casino stocks
The Nasdaq traded 0.6% higher, paring losses at the end of the week. However, the index still posted a weekly loss of 4.9% for its worst since October as tech stocks unwound some of their steep 2020 gains this week, as benchmark Treasury yields spiked to their highest levels since January 2020.
The rise in rates is tied to a range of corporate and consumer borrowing costs and may undermine the recovery if they jump too quickly.
The S&P 500 ended about 0.5% lower while the Dow shed 475 points, or 1.5%, at the end of Friday’s session. The indexes posted gains of 2.6% and 3.2% for February, thanks to a rally earlier in the month. The Nasdaq’s monthly gain was just under 1%.
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives is anticipated to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, which would include measures in Biden’s original proposal like $1,400 direct checks to most Americans, $400 per week in augmented federal unemployment insurance, and $350 billion in state, local and tribal government relief.
The bill would then head to the U.S. Senate, with many lawmakers aiming to pass the bill before a mid-March cliff for when current pandemic-era benefits are set to expire.
A rapid rise in Treasury yields this week has deterred investors from risk assets, as the specter of rising borrowing costs for companies and a jump in inflationary pressures mounted. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note jumped to a fresh one-year high of as much as 1.6% on Thursday before cutting some gains.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission further expanded the list of stocks temporarily suspended from trading due to “questionable trading and social media activity,” according to a statement from the commission.
The securities affected by the new order are Bebida Beverage Co. (BBDA), Blue Sphere Corporation (BLSP), Ehouse Global Inc. (EHOS), Eventure Interactive Inc. (EVTI), Eyes on the Go Inc. (AXCG), Green Energy Enterprises Inc. (GYOG), Helix Wind Corp. (HLXW), International Power Group Ltd. (IPWG), Marani Brands Inc. (MRIB), MediaTechnics Corp. (MEDT), Net Talk.com Inc. (NTLK), Patten Energy Solutions Group Inc. (PTTN), PTA Holdings Inc. (PTAH), Universal Apparel & Textile Company (DKGR) and Wisdom Homes of America Inc. (WOFA).
“Certain social media accounts may be engaged in a coordinated attempt to artificially influence their share prices,” according to SEC
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