Markets Wrap: Stocks Tumble as Tech, Commodities Trigger Fears

Bloomberg -

U.S. stocks had their worst day in seven weeks Wednesday amid a broad decline in global equities as technology shares were roiled by disappointing results from Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and copper sank into a bear market, weighing on commodities. Crude oil slipped below $65 a barrel following a report that American stockpiles rose the most since March 2017.

The S&P 500 index declined for the fifth time in six sessions, while the Nasdaq 100 index posted the weakest performance among major U.S. benchmarks. Strong retail sales figures did little to mollify investors, as Macy’s Inc. plummeted 16 percent, the most since May 2017, despite beating expectations. Tencent’s first profit decline in at least a decade also rattled emerging-market equities.

Tesla Inc. dropped more than 2.5 percent after a report that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent a subpoena to the company regarding Elon Musk’s privatization plans and his comments about having secured funding.

Raw-materials producers dragged down European shares as copper and zinc sank to the lowest in more than a year. In Turkey, the lira gained after the country’s banking regulator moved to deter short-selling in the currency.

With the bull market in American stocks just a week away from becoming the longest in history, investors have turned increasingly cautious amid lingering global trade tensions. Markets have been rocked over the past week as turmoil in Turkey weighed on sentiment across many emerging- and developed-nation assets. Qatar promised Wednesday to invest $15 billion in the Turkish economy to help the country avert a financial crisis.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong intervened to defend its peg to the dollar for the first time in three months after the local currency fell to the weak end of its trading band. Several markets, including Poland and India, were closed for a holiday.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

  • Earnings are due this week from companies including Maersk, Cisco, Walmart, and Carlsberg.
  • Brexit talks between the EU and the U.K. resume in Brussels Thursday.

These are the main moves in markets:

  • The S&P 500 slumped 0.8 percent to 2,818.39, the biggest decline since June, and the Nasdaq 100 dropped 1.2 percent.
  • The MSCI All-Country World index dipped 1.1 percent to the lowest in five weeks.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market index fell 1.8 percent, reaching the lowest since July 2017.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot index rose 0.2 percent to the highest since June 2017.
  • The euro was little changed at 1.1345.
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency index fell 0.6 percent to the lowest since May 2017.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined four basis points to 2.8569 percent, the lowest in a month.
  • The Bloomberg Commodity index fell 1.9 percent to the lowest since July 2017.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude slid 3.3 percent to $64.86 a barrel, the lowest since June.
  • LME copper sank 4 percent to $5,801 per metric ton, the lowest in 13 months.
  • Gold declined 1.7 percent to $1,174.42 an ounce, the weakest since January 2017.