200819 Wall STreet
A sign for a Wall Street building is shown in New York. Image Credit: AP

Wall Street ended sharply lower on Monday as investors fretted about a US Federal Reserve gathering later this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that is expected to reinforce a strong commitment by the central bank to stamp out inflation.

All of 11 S&P 500 sector indexes fell for most of the session, led lower by technology, consumer discretionary and communication services.

Amazon.com Inc, Nvidia Corp, Microsoft Corp and Tesla Inc all tumbled as the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield rose past 3 per cent for the first time since July 21.

Technology and other higher-growth stocks often fall when bond yields rise.

After a summer rally on Wall Street ended last week, the S&P 500 remains down about 13 per cent so far in 2022, and the Nasdaq is down more than 20 per cent.

The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street’s fear gauge, rose to 24.4, its highest in over two weeks.

Focus is on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday at the central banking conference in Jackson Hole for further cues on how aggressively the Fed is likely to be with future interest rate hikes.

“Powell is going to try to sound hawkish to tamp down inflationary expectations and tighten financial conditions. So that’s most likely going to be a negative catalyst for the market,” warned Jay Hatfield, chief investment officer at Infrastructure Capital Management in New York.

The Fed will probably raise interest rates by 50 basis points in September, according to economists polled by Reuters.

However, traders are split between a 50 bps hike and a 75 bps hike by the central bank after several policymakers recently pushed back against expectations of a dovish pivot and emphasized the Fed’s commitment to fight against inflation.

Investors will also be looking for details on the Fed’s plans to reduce its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet, a process that started in June.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 lost 89.65 points, or 2.12 per cent, to end at 4,138.83 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 320.07 points, or 2.52 per cent, to 12,385.14.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 632.72 points, or 1.88 per cent, to 33,074.02.

Slowdown fears hit markets globally. China’s central bank trimmed some key lending rates on Monday in a bid to support a slowing economy and a stressed housing sector.

Also bleeding into negative sentiment on Wall Street, European shares dropped after Russia’s Gazprom said last week it would halt natural gas supplies to Europe for three days at the end of August.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc tumbled after the cinema chain’s preferred stock listing started trading and its UK-based rival Cineworld Group warned of a possible bankruptcy filing.

Signify Health Inc surged following a report on Sunday that UnitedHealth Group Inc, Amazon, CVS Health Corp and Option Care Health Inc were bidding to acquire the company.