Markets Right Now: Stocks are mostly lower; bond yields rise

An afternoon recap of the day's most important business news, delivered weekdays.

The S&P 500 rose 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,730. The drop pulled the 30-company average to a slight loss for the year. The Nasdaq fell 59 points, or 0.8 percent, to 7,351.

The prospect of higher mortgage interest rates weighed on homebuilders, while the rise in bond yields sent shares in high-dividend paying stocks lower.

Small-company stocks held up better than the rest of the market.

The market slide comes in the midst of a strong May for stocks.

Viacom slumped 6 percent and CBS rose 4 percent after CBS sued to block efforts to force the company combine with Viacom.

USA market indexes were lower on Tuesday.

Banks, which stand to prosper because of higher interest rates on loans, bucked the downward trend.

The S&P 500 index rose 9 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,736.

"A combination of firm growth and higher interest rates is unnerving", said Anthony Chan, chief economist for Chase in NY.

The Federal Reserve has signaled it will raise rates twice more this year, after having done so in March, and most economists foresee the next increase in June. Some Fed watchers have been cautioning that any lasting uptick in inflation or in economic growth might spur the Fed to pursue an additional rate increase before year's end.

"A little bit of today's jitters are related to a hangover to yesterday's wrongly placed exuberance that a trade deal was imminent, and the reality is we are in for a long slugfest between the USA and China", said Jon Mackay, investment strategist at Schroders North America in NY.

The chip maker stocks also posted a price jump on Monday after a report suggesting that Chinese regulators will re-examine the proposed acquisition of Qualcomm's NXP Semiconductors. Essex Property Trust fell 3.4 percent.

In Asia, shares declined on Wednesday in morning session after North Korea pulled out of high-level talks with Seoul and as US Treasury yields rose to the highest level in seven years overnight.

Home Depot dropped 1.4 percent on weaker-than-expected sales, partly because of inclement weather.

Stocks are moving mostly lower in midday trading on Wall Street, led by technology and health care companies. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oil, added 20 cents to $78.43 in London.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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